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It’s been awhile since HTML has had a major update. It’s about due for one and in fact there is one currently in production – HTML 5.

HTML 5 will certainly be a revolution in website design elements. One area where HTML 5 will make necessary and revolutionary changes for webmasters and web users alike is in how browsers see videos. Currently, anyone who watches videos online must first download a browser plugin. At least one of them, and in many cases web users have more than one.

Popular browser video plugins include:

  • Adobe Flash
  • Apple Quicktime
  • Shockwave
  • RealPlayer
  • VLC for Mac OS
  • Windows Media Player

Chances are, if you watch videos online right now then you have one or more of these browser plugins installed in your Web browser. If you don’t have at least one of these then are not able to watch videos. HTML 5, however, will make these plugins obsolete.

HTML 5 Means Increased Web Security

Many Internet users are concerned about security. They don’t want to download anything they are not sure about. Therefore, they are a bit skeptical of the whole video browser plugin thing. With HTML 5 they won’t need to be. They’ll be able to watch videos without a plugin. And there browsing experience will be more secure as a result.

These security concerns are not without warrant. Many a website user has landed on a website and been asked to download a Codec for a video then been hit with malware issues that completely destroys their trust in websites that use video. While there is no such thing as complete Web security, HTML 5’s video tag will mean no Codec downloads are necessary and therefore any requests for such downloads can be immediately ignored. Videos will automatically play in any browser without a Codec or browser plugin.

HTML 5 Will Provide More Design Control For Webmasters

If you use video on your websites now then you are stuck with current sizing and embedding conventions. Customization is out of reach for most website designers. HTML 5 will change that.

With HTML 5 you’ll be able to control height and width of your video frames, autoplay on or off, design of your video frame and even search engine optimization with file naming conventions and src attributes. You can host your videos on your own server rather than upload them to YouTube and embed them on your site.

Another great HTML 5 attribute is the poster attribute. You’ll be able to designate an image placeholder to display while your video loads. That placeholder can be a branding logo, an ad or a cartoon. It’s entirely up to you. Again, more design control.

When Will HTML 5 Be Available?

A release date for HTML 5 has not be published. But production has been going on for a couple of years now so I’m guessing it’s getting close. I would not be surprised if HTML 5 was unleashed by the end of 2010. It would be a welcome change to the current state of video optimization and website design.

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