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Summary:

It looks like CBS will use HTML5 and H.264 to allow iPad viewers that connect to CBS.com to watch its videos, if early test video pages discovered by The Other Mac Blog and examined by MacRumours are any indication of the company’s plans. If successful, the […]

It looks like CBS will use HTML5 and H.264 to allow iPad viewers that connect to CBS.com to watch its videos, if early test video pages discovered by The Other Mac Blog and examined by MacRumours are any indication of the company’s plans. If successful, the move to HTML5 by CBS could be followed by other broadcasters and premium video sites that wish to get their video content on the iPad without using Adobe Flash.

Apple’s iPad doesn’t support Flash, which is used by YouTube, Hulu, TV.com and most other sites for delivering video over the Internet. As a result, video publishers will have to find different ways to deliver videos to the device. We first speculated that many media companies would turn to selling videos through iTunes or creating apps to natively deliver video experiences on the upcoming device, but HTML5 provides another way for them to do so.

The Other Mac Blog uncovered several iPad test videos on CBS.com, which were found to have HTML5 and webkit calls referenced in their CSS files. Furthermore, MacRumors found that if users visit CBS.com using the iPad SDK Simulator, which makes the site think you are using an iPad, they are sent to a different version of a video than would be displayed normally in Flash. The videos, which appears to be ready to be delivered in HTML5, aren’t playable (yet), according to MacRumors, but the implementation shows how at least on publisher may choose to sidestep the lack of Flash video when the device is launched in about a week.

CBS’s expected adoption of HTML5 comes after several companies have thrown their weight behind the new standard for delivering video. Microsoft announced last week that it would support HTML5 video and H.264 encoding in Internet Explorer 9, the next version of its web browser. Meanwhile, YouTube and Vimeo have both launched HTML5 implementations for their web video sites.

The news also comes as H.264 licensing body MPEG LA recently extended its royalty-free license of the video encoding format until 2016. The codec has already become somewhat of an industry standard online video, but the royalty-free license could push even more publishers and technology providers to adopt H.264 as their encoding format of choice.

Related content on NewTeeVee: Sorry, HTML5 Crowd, Flash Ain’t Dead Yet

Related content on GigaOM Pro: Forecast: Tablet App Sales To Hit $8B by 2015 (subscription required)

  1. Hi Ryan, it may be more useful to speak of VIDEO/H.264 and VIDEO/Theora, rather than “‘HTML5′ video”… the biggest “HTML5″ desktop browser is Firefox, and the biggest “HTML5″ mobile browser is Opera, neither of which can render video content which has been reworked to accommodate a certain proprietary device which intentionaly fails to support existing worldly web standards…. ;-)

    (I’ve put “HTML5″ in quotes, because although the Apple-dominated WhatWG has finished with its document, this is merely a submission to the actual W3C HTML process… the media-relations have gotten a bit ahead of themselves on the spec.)

    For what it’s worth, Adobe Flash Player has included H.264 decoders since 2007, along with its Sorenson and On2 decoders… the markup itself isn’t “a new standard in delivering video”, just a different way to call the video publishers already use.

    jd/adobe

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    1. John – Thanks for your comment and clarification as always. And of course, the issue of H.264 vs. Ogg is one that will continue to plague HTML5 adoption. However, with IE9 around the corner and most folks already encoding H.264 video, I think Ogg will be left as a sort of odd man out. (As a side note, it’s tough to include all these issues in EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE about HTML5 adoption.)

      If the world does move to HTML5, though, I just don’t see publishers encoding in yet another format to support those two browsers, and especially not as iPhone/iPad continues to grab share of overall video distributed over broadband and mobile networks.

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  2. Can HTML5 video do this? until then…FLASH RULE!! http://www.flashcomguru.com/index.cfm/2008/5/7/360-video

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  3. One correction – there is an App for Youtube already on the iPad – so people wanting to get their videos on the iPad just need to upload via Youtube or they can make them available from libsyn.com as a podcast via iTunes. There are plenty of easy options for video producers to get their videos up on an iPad when it launches.

    Regards,

    Rob Walch
    Host – Today in iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch Podcast

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  4. [...] early test on CBS.com shows how some publishers might approach the problem, by creating HTML5 video pages specifically [...]

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  5. [...] announced that it is also rolling out support for HTML5 video on the iPad. CBS appears to be testing out an HTML5 implementation on CBS.com specifically designed for iPad video. And earlier this year, YouTube and Vimeo both [...]

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  6. [...] the iPad’s Safari browser, confirming earlier reports that the broadcaster was testing out an HTML5 implementation of its web site specifically for displaying videos on the iPad. CBS will reportedly have full episodes of reality [...]

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  7. [...] announced that it is also rolling out support for HTML5 video on the iPad. CBS appears to be testing out an HTML5 implementation on CBS.com specifically designed for iPad video. And earlier this year, YouTube and Vimeo both [...]

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  8. [...] launch an iPad application any time soon. That sets them apart from major media companies like CBS, which has been experimenting with HTML5 video for iPad users. CBS could just as easily ask users to install an app to access its [...]

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  9. [...] that supports video playback without Adobe Flash. CBS is yet another standout example — the network was found testing HTML5 for playback of full television episodes. While it’s true that Flash is still widely used, and probably will be for some time to come, [...]

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  10. [...] to HTML5 to play on an iPad in real time. Will only be a mater of time before its up and running. CBS Testing Out HTML5 for iPad Videos Brightcove backs HTML5 for iPad | Developer World – [...]

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