To understand the important role of web video you need to understand its history. It started with a coffee pot at Cambridge University and after a series of twists and turns, finally got its own element in HTML5.
- [Instructor] To understand how to provide web video experiences, one needs to understand the underlying technologies that enable those experiences and the story behind these technologies is fascinating. Web video didn't just magically arrive. In fact, like most web technology, web video's rise to prominence was not exactly smooth. In fact, legend has it, it started in 1993 with an empty coffee pot, which you are looking at here. This coffee pot was located in the old computer laboratory at Cambridge University in the UK.
The engineers were getting frustrated that the coffee pot was constantly empty. To let the engineer see if it was full, one enterprising individual set up a web camera across from the coffee pot. The web was able to display images, and so the engineers would have the image constantly refreshed to see the status of the coffee pot. As this was done on the web, soon word got out and people from all over the world would check out the coffee pot. Though it was nothing more than a series of updated still images, this coffee pot became not only the first live video stream, but in many respects, the first viral video.
Two years later, in 1995, RealNetworks tried something unheard of, and actually streamed a live audio broadcast of a New York Yankees, the Seattle Mariners game through the now defunct Word Magazine, the interface of which you are looking at here, and it was only a matter of time before video arrived. It should also come as no surprise that when video arrived, well, standards were kicked off. In 1996, Microsoft released the ActiveMovie player, which contained proprietary codecs, RLE and Video 1, that allowed streaming media to be played in Internet Explorer 3.
A year later, RealNetworks response with its proprietary streaming application, the RealPlayer, and of course, Apple got involved with the release of Quicktime 4 in 1999. For about four years, Microsoft, Apple, and Real owned the market. Then they lost it. They lost it by being blindsided by the growth of the Internet, fast Internet connections, and the rise of the standard movement, which essentially claimed they controlled their real estate on webpages and were not about to let Apple, Microsoft, or Real start begging for upgrades to Pro, Apple, move the video off the page, Microsoft, or a way for people to install the latest version of the ReadMedia plug-in if they could find it.
This was a profound shift in attitude, and then Flash video happened. Flash was quietly being installed in millions of browsers every day and the key advantage to Flash was quite simple. It worked! Soon Flash video was ubiquitous, and even became the preferred format on the web. It is also no coincidence that YouTube's growth got started when it relied on Flash video. In April, 2010, the love affair came to an abrupt end when Steve Jobs banned the Flash player from the iPhone.
With the rise of the smartphone, there wasn't much anyone, or Adobe for that matter, could do, but to express righteous indignation. In November of 2011, Adobe withdrew its mobile Flash player and that was that, except for one thing. HTML 5 arrived in the beauty of HTML 5 was that video playback, thanks to the video element, was now plug-in free when it came to streaming media. The job of playing video was left to the browser, and of course, with competing interests, the birth of browser-based video playback was not exactly smooth.
The browser manufacturer started the fight by asking a simple question. What video format will be the standard? Interesting question, because it had nothing to do with file format, but everything to do as to whether the format would or would not be royalty free. That is yet another great story and we'll get to that one in the next video.
- Key video formats used to publish on the web
- Encoding video that's optimized for online delivery
- HTML5 native video embedding and interaction
- Styling video components with CSS
- Captioning video
- Preparing video for social media
- Using Dynamic Link