Open Video Conference Working Group: HTML5 and

At the recent Open Video Conference, I was asked to chair a working group on HTML5 and the <video> tag. Since the conference had attracted a large number of open media software developers as well as HTML5 <video> tag developers, it was a great group of people that were on the panel with me: Philip Jagenstedt from Opera, Jan Gerber from Xiph, Viktor Gal from Annodex, Michael Dale from Metavid, and Eric Carlson from Apple. This meant we had three browser vendors and their <video> tag developers present as well as two javascript library developers representing some of the largest content sites that are already using Ogg Theora/Vorbis with the <video> tag, plus myself looking into accessiblity for <video>.

The biggest topic around the <video> tag is of course the question of baseline codec: which codec can and should become the required codec for anyone implementing <video> tag support. Fortunately, this discussion was held during the panel just ahead of ours. Thus, our panel was able to focus on the achievements of the HTML5 video tag and implementations of it, as well as the challenges still ahead.

Unfortunately, the panel was cut short at the conference to only 30 min, so we ended up doing mostly demos of HTML5 video working in different browsers and doing cool things such as working with SVG.

The challenges that we identified and that are still ahead to solve are:

  • annotation support: closed captions, subtitles, time-aligned metadata, and their DOM exposure
  • track selection: how to select between alternate audio tracks, alternate annotation tracks, based on e.g. language, or accessibility requirements; what would the content negotiation protocol look like
  • how to support live streaming
  • how to support in-browser a/v capture
  • how to support live video communication (skype-style)
  • how to support video playlists
  • how to support basic video editing functionality
  • what would a decent media server for html5 video look like; what capabilities would it have

Here are the slides we made for the working group.

Download PDF: Open Video Conference: HML5 and video Panel

Video: Video of the session at

10 thoughts on “Open Video Conference Working Group: HTML5 and

  1. Hub, you’re totally right. I have added a PDF for download. Unfortunately there is no slideshare with a non-flash solution at this point afaik.

  2. “This meant we had three browser vendors and their tag developers present”

    Who was the third browser vendor and video tag developer? I see Opera and Apple mentioned.

  3. Chris Double was supposed to be there, but couldn’t make it in the end because he had to make sure the <video> tag support in Firefox 3.5 worked. Congratulations to Chris on this awesome achievement!!!

    Since he wasn’t available, we had a combination of Xiph and Annodex developers that know roughly how Ogg Theora support works in Firefox. I counted that as covering the Firefox side of things together with the moral support that we received in spirit. 🙂

  4. I’m delighted to see such a fantastic, comprehensive list! Hopefully there’ll be DOM interfaces for all these features some day; that would be superb!

  5. While the code itself is somewhat above my head, the discussion of this specification recalls my recent videoblog/blogpost in which I propose…

    A Rubric for Open Source Cinema (beta)

    1. Identification of Objects in the Frame
    2. Universal Editing Timeline Metadata
    3. Timecoded Text Transcription

    I found your blog because rektide actually linked me here once he read/watched the full post:

    There’s obviously some criteria missing — these were the ones I came up with in my initial reaction to the project after watching the film “RiP: a remix manifesto”

    Would be thrilled to have your insights on the ideas I am discussing. Up until now my perspective is admittedly coming from a more artistic angle.


Comments are closed.