RTMP and HTML5 Video Players – What Broadcasters Need to Know
The online video world is constantly changing. Flash, which was the dominant online video player for decades, is not obsolete. The HTML5 video player has replaced flash as the dominant online video player, and new video players continue to emerge on the market.
Access to HTML5 video players has improved online video in many aspects, including compatibility, general speed, and security. If you want to stream online videos, you need to understand how RTMP players and HTML5 have worked to replace the Flash player.
Let’s begin by taking a closer look at the rise of HTML5 video player formats.
Table of Contents
- Out with Flash, In with HTML5
- The Transition to HTML5 for Online Video
- Initial Issues with HTML5 Player Compatibility
- Benefits of Using an HTML5 Video Player
- What to Know About Dacast’s HTML5 Video Player
- How to Embed an HTML 5 Video Player
- Sharing Your HTML5 Video Player on Social Media
- How Does RTMP Work with an HTML5 Video Player?
Out with Flash, In with HTML5
Flash has been around for over 20 years. For the majority of that time, Flash was the dominant platform for video and most other multimedia on the internet. However, Flash technology has encountered some ongoing issues, particularly in recent years. Most notably, security and speed have posed issues for Flash.
Let’s backtrack a bit to the beginning of the end when Apple released the first generation iPhone on June 29, 2007. That iPhone intentionally didn’t support Flash, making Apple a trendsetter. In 2012, Android followed suit by dropping support for Flash channels completely. That essentially made the Flash player obsolete on most cell phones, which have quickly become the preferred way of viewing content on the internet.
Eventually, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Apple’s Safari, and Google Chrome slowly limited Flash support and jumped on the HTML5 bandwagon. In addition to the browsers, many content delivery networks have not supported Flash since 2017. With the dropping of Flash support, HTML 5 as an alternative flash player became more vital.
As of December 2020, Chrome eliminated support of the Flash Player altogether. All other major browsers plan to follow suit. With no browser support and limited support on popular devices, Flash Player no longer has a place in online video streaming. With Flash out, the alternative for online video streaming has become HTML5.
The Transition to HTML5 for Online Video
Luckily, the HTML5 video player has been developed to perfectly suit the needs of the online streaming industry. As of January 2021, most online streaming relies on this technology.
The rise of HTML5 technology can be credited to the browsers, mobile device developers, and streaming CDNs that have turned a cold shoulder to Flash Player in favor of this new and improved video player.
Almost any video you watch today on your laptop, computer, smartphone, or smart TV uses an HTML5 video player. At first, there were concerns and challenges in terms of compatibility, but today, this technology is a standard in the world of video streaming. Flash player is dead, it is now about HTML5.
Initial Issues with HTML5 Player Compatibility
In the beginning, the decline of Flash posed a challenge. Compatibility with the HTML5 video player posed an issue for a short amount of time.
Luckily, many strategies were set in place to make the transition easier. Among these options, one ideal method was using an embedded video player software for deployment to websites under your control. Many of these video players supported the RTMP (Real-time messaging protocol) technology to work with flash-enabled players, HTML5 video, or both. It is easy to embed RTMP stream into an HTML5 video player. RTMP is often used in browsers to transition to HTML5 video player
Another popular option was MediaElement.js. This video player alternative mimics HTML5 even when playing videos using Flash or Silverlight in older browsers.
Today, HTML5 video player compatibility is not an issue at all. In fact, this player’s compatibility is among its many strengths. The HTML5 video player is often referred to as an “all-device video player” because it is truly just that. Reaching all devices means reaching a larger audience.
HLS, another streaming protocol that was created by Apple, is now used for delivery to the HTML5 video player in place of RTMP.
In just a few years, this video player has gone from limited compatibility to the most compatible option. If that doesn’t speak volumes of the rapid development of technology, then we don’t know what does.
How Does RTMP Work with an HTML5 Video Player?
Before we move on, it is important to acknowledge that RTMP still plays an active role with HTML5 video players. RTMP players online are still crucial to the video streaming industry.
As we mentioned RTMP was used for delivery with the Flash video player. In fact, the protocol was created by Macromedia (which is now Adobe) to be used specifically with the Flash video player. It transported the video from the CDN servers to the user-facing video player.
Now, RTMP is used for video ingestion. That means that it takes video content from the software encoder to the switcher, video player, or server.
HLS can also be used to ingest, but an HTML5 RTMP player is still the most compatible option among affordable and reliable live stream encoders. Another advantage of using RTMP ingest as opposed to HLS is that it is capable of streaming with much lower latency. RTMP has survived the transition from Flash Player to HTML 5 in the video world.
Video streaming technology is constantly evolving, so it is difficult to determine how long it will be until something new comes around and makes each of these protocols obsolete. However, for now, the HLS delivery/RTMP ingest combination is what works the best with the HTML5 video player. RTMP viewers remain vital to the online video experience.
Benefits of Using an HTML5 Video Player
HTML5 became popular due to the killing off of Flash Player by developers and browsers. However, HTML5 has many great qualities that have contributed to HTML5 being one of the top video players.
Let’s examine some of the reasons why HTML5 video player has become the go-to video player for broadcast professionals.
Less Resource Heavy
One of the biggest benefits of working with the HTML5 video player is that is resource-light. It doesn’t require additional plug-ins to work, it can work all on its own. This makes it easier to work with and add to your website.
Older video players, such as flash player, required plug-ins in order to run properly.
The HTML5 video player is customizable which makes on-brand streaming totally manageable. This creates a more professional look and an enhanced viewer experience, which is why so many professional broadcasters are happy with this video player. HTML 5 has taken over for the Flash player.
It is really easy to integrate HTML5 video players with your website or platform. With an HTML5 video player, you can easily integrate videos onto all of your websites and platforms that you work with.
You can also easily manage your videos through the use of built-in video tags that make it easy to find what you need. Plus, you can easily fix thumbnails for autoplay and looping videos. The entire platform is set up to be easy to use.
With an HTML5 video player, you can easily expand on the video player. You can quickly add in additional applications and links, such as social media links or CTA buttons, helping to make your video content more engaging and action-driven for your business.
Since the most popular smartphone creators intentionally made it impossible to stream with Flash Player, the highly compatible HTML5 video player is definitely the winner in terms of accessibility and compatibility.
Compatibility is huge for professional broadcasters because the more devices the video player works on, the greater the pool of people who could become viewers.
Maximum compatibility means maximum reach. This is music to the ears of broadcasters who want to reach large audiences for the sake of maximizing revenue or brand exposure. You want to use a video player with the biggest possible reach, which an RTMP HTML5 video player provides.
The HTML5 video player is much more secure than its predecessor. Threats of piracy or infiltration from an unauthorized user are limited with this video player.
This is phenomenal news for enterprise broadcasters and companies that use HLS streaming software solutions as a service business model. HLS streaming software works with the HTML5 video player.
An HTML5 video player has advanced features as well:
- Flexible: Easily adjust the video player to fit the screen size of different devices, from smartphones to smart TVs.
- Embedding: Take your videos and embed them on a third-party platform or website while maintaining a high streaming quality.
- Cross-device & cross-platform compatibility: Enjoy capability across platforms or devices without needing additional tools or plug-ins.
Faster than Flash
Since “Flash” is in the name, you’d think Adobe’s video player would be the fastest in the game, and at one point it was. However, the HTML5 video player puts Flash to shame.
An HTML5 RTMP player is compatible with the fastest, most reliable encoders. This is possible by RTMP ingest, meaning the delivery of content from an RTMP encoder to an online video host This is a live streaming dream. This cuts latency drastically, which means that near-real-time latency is a possibility.
Video speed is very important to many viewers, so this just enhances the viewers’ experience even more. A quick video player is essential to the online video viewing experience.
What to Know About Dacast’s HTML5 Video Player
One of the easiest ways to broadcast via an HTML5 video player is with the help of your online video platform. At one point, varying live streaming platforms provided different video player options, but right now, HTML5 is the standard. It allows you to connect with the biggest possible audience.
Here at Dacast, our video player is based on video.js. This means that our player is an HTML5 video player and equipped for HTTPS delivery. Our HTML5 video player uses HLS for delivery and either HLS or RTMP for ingest.
Our platform uses HTML5 video natively and has not supported Flash as a fallback option since 2017. Viewers can stream any video hosted or streamed via the Dacast platform on any device that supports HTML5 video. This is an ideal situation for both viewers and broadcasters.
Thanks to our adaptive bitrate streaming capabilities, viewers automatically receive the best quality content over their HTML5-compatible playback device. This makes for a convenient and easy viewing experience.
This is particularly useful if you’re broadcasting a live video stream to generate revenue from your content. Also, video creators need only to use a single embed code to reach every potential audience, which is an added convenience.
In terms of live streaming software solutions that Dacast offers, our video players are compatible with every modern web browser, including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Safari, Vivaldi, UC Browser, Samsung Internet, and many others.
Even many old, outdated browsers still support Dacast video, which means that our broadcasters can reach 99.9% of internet users without issue.
One crucial advantage of the Dacast platform is its responsiveness. Any video player scales automatically to different screen sizes and device types. It’s also extremely fast to load—about 20 times faster than the previous version.
Combined with a fast first-frame time, this guarantees a pleasant experience for users. Dacast also supports plugins for extending the functionality of your video player, as well as popular advertising standards such as VAST2.
Finally, the Dacast video player has a dedicated video API. This API integrates with Google Analytics, which allows you to connect players to your account to see how individual videos perform. You can also integrate live events into your analytics account, allowing you to track audiences in real-time.
How to Embed an HTML5 Video Player
Embedding an HTML5 video player from Dacast on your website, an RTMP mobile app, or a smart TV app is very easy. With most online video platforms, this takes a simple copy and paste of the embed code into the code of your site or app.
Here’s how to embed live streaming video using your HTML5 video player on your website:
- Go to your account dashboard and navigate to the HTML5 live channel or on-demand video content that you wish to embed.
- Click “Publish Settings” in the drop-down menu.
- Select the width and height for your embed code. Feel free to simply use the default if you don’t know which to use.
- Select all the code in the text box and copy it to your clipboard.
- Paste the embed code in the proper location in the HTML editor view of the webpage where your video player will live.
- Click “Save.”
Preview the webpage, and your HTML5 video player should appear. It’s really that easy.
Sharing Your HTML5 Video Player on Social Media
When it comes to creating video content, it is important to share that content beyond your own website. That is the best way to expand your audience is by meeting them where they are at.
One of the easiest ways to share either live streaming content or on-demand content on social media is by using the “Share Link” option inside of your account. Just copy and paste the link onto a Facebook post, tweet, or other applicable sharing space within your favorite social media platform.
Using the “Share Link” feature will create a video that your viewers can look at directly on the social media site where you share the video. They don’t have to leave the platform and come back to your website to view the content.
This creates a more clean and streamlined social media post using this embed link option. This allows you to maintain all the features of your white-label video hosting platform, including your own branding and security features while sharing the content on outside platforms and expanding your audience.
Flash is no longer the dominant force it once was, and HTML5 video players are the way to go. This transition has improved online video streaming and has created a better scenario for broadcasters and viewers, alike. You can use RTMP with an HTML5 video player to create the best viewing experience.
This transition away from Flash isn’t the only change in the online video industry. Increasingly, HLS is becoming the standard for video delivery, but RTMP is still commonly used for video ingestion. Businesses and service providers have adapted very quickly and now use the HTML5 RTMP video player almost exclusively. The RTMP viewer still works with HTML 5.
With Chrome maintaining its status as the world’s most popular browser, Google’s decision to label non-HTTPS (“not secure”) content is enormous. Using an online video platform like Dacast means that you are well-equipped to take advantage of all that HTML5 has to offer and will be prepared for the future when the world of online video outgrows HTML5 streaming.
Interested in using the HTML5 video player for your streaming needs? Try it risk-free for 14 days with Dacast’s free trial. Access all of our professional features and see how the video player works in action.
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Thanks for reading, and good luck with your broadcasts!