Opera wants native video playback in browsers

On February 28, a meeting was held at SVWebBuilder, in which howcome demonstrated a custom build of Opera with built-in video support.

The same day, Opera Software proposed a new VIDEO element for HTML5.

Today, you need to use plugins and proprietary formats to view videos in browsers. There is great demand for a better solution to serve video content to users. A native video format in browsers without all the licensing and patent issues that plague other format could be beneficial to all parties (perhaps except those who make a living licensing expensive proprietary technologies for such purposes).

Opera's proposal is to use Ogg Theora, and howcome has already been discussing this for a while with Mozilla. While there are certainly obstacles in the way (getting it all off the ground with proper cross-browser support and decent content), it might be possible if all or most major browsers support the format. Even browsers that may not support it could make use of plugins until they catch up.

One thing to keep in mind that adding native support for Theora in Opera would only add about 300K to Opera's overall size! And I am sure that could even be optimized to reduce it even further.

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10 thoughts on “Opera wants native video playback in browsers

  1. I think that just like GIF and JPG (and soon SVG 😉 ) are the standard, expected and built-in static images formats for all browsers, there should be similar formats for audio and video that content providers can assume all browsers implments. Ogg Theora sounds good for video. Ogg Vorbis would be good for audio, but I suspect most people would expect MP3 support too (I'm aware that it's an encumbered format, the expectation will still be there).I'm not convinced a video element is a great idea. I'd prefer to see object used. (I'd like to see object interchangable with img too.)

  2. A very good idea, but maybe using good old IMG tag is better? For example by adding some extra attribute. That will make videos more compatible and developers could even make placeholders for those browsers which do not support Ogg Theora. For example:

    <img src="thumb.gif" width="120" height="80" vidsrc="movie.ogg" vwidth="320" vheight="240" alt="You should see video here" />
  3. Aux: the 'object' element is excellently suited for content fallback – an image, a video in another format, text, whatever you want, even in multiple layers.The proposed 'video' element, as far as I can see, is redundant. Why not rather propose those JavaScript extras to the 'object' element?

  4. OBJECT element is just a container. IMG and VIDEO have semantic meaning. I'm waiting for AUDIO also. 🙂

  5. Excellent proposal.Btw, why do we need a seperate attribute (or whatever you call it) to be included in html5 to enable native video playback?Cant it work with html 4, if the browser supports native video playback.

  6. Theora doesn't support lossless modes, which is sorta unfortunate. Screencasts are often smaller with lossless codecs and of course they are perfectly crisp then.Supporting subtitles might be also a good idea, since hardsubbing adds quite a lot of file management overhead and extra work.

  7. I have OPera 9.64 and it doesn't read the Wikipedia ogg files !What have I to do ?Mario

  8. It's a question about how to get OGG working in Opera 9.64, which is a support question, and this is not the right place for that. Opera currently does not have native video playback.

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