Twitch Introduces HTML5 Streaming

In a move that will have live-streamers smiling for days, Twitch have announced plans to switch from Adobe Flash to HTML5.

Effective immediately, they’re introducing new controls (play, pause, etc…) powered by HTML5 and JavaScript to replace the controls in their existing Flash video player.

However, the Amazon-owned company knows just how easy it is to get major changes like this wrong, so they’re moving slowly and taking things one step at a time to avoid any mishaps.

“This is an important step to releasing the much-anticipated full HTML5 player” Twitch said, before advising users to “stay tuned for more HTML5 updates” in the near future.

The live streaming service, which is currently the most popular on the web, has been working internally for years on their HTML5 tech; and I’m sure their tech team is thankful that another major streaming service made the jump (and suffered the headaches) before they did.

Google tested various iterations of a HTML5 video player on YouTube from 2010-2014; prompting numerous complaints from users about poor automatic quality selection and slow video loading times. Over the years, however, YouTube perfected their tech (pretty much, anyway…) and earlier this year announced plans to ditch Adobe Flash in favor of HTML5 for all compatible browsers.

Adobe Flash has been in the news regularly for almost a decade now, since it’s constantly used by hackers to gain illicit access to user devices. In the early days of the web, it was the only way to stream video over the internet. But as time went on, many better alternatives popped up. Chief among them is HTML5 video; which analysts say will power almost all online video on the web within the coming decade.

Stephen Doble

From his London office, Stephen leads our new media industry coverage at Videoter.

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