Youtube has taken the initiative to move over to the HTML5 platform for its video library and it has finally announced that it’s ready for public release. Users who use Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Safari 8 and Beta Firefox will now be served with a HTML5 version of Youtube by default.
The transition wasn’t made sooner because HTML5 had little support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) from MediaSource Extensions. ABR allow videos to automatically adjust its resolution without reloading the video, especially with the network connection constantly fluctuating. H.264 is the codec that has been delivering Youtube videos to users for years and now it has decided to part ways and welcome Google’s VP9 codec. Youtube videos incur huge amounts of bandwidth and VP9 reduces it by an average of 35%, while making videos start 15-80% faster.
To enhance Digital Rights Management, Encrypted media extensions added an API to HTML video which enabled the content to be protected with any content encryption the device supports. For content creators, WebRTC allows for direct-to-Youtube recording and live broadcasting, making livestreams much smoother and more convenient.
[Source: Youtube Blog]