What’s an HTML5 Video Player?
Why use an HTML5 Video Player?
Knowing that HTML5 browsers have a built in player, you might wonder why you’d need an additional library like VideoJS at all. There’s actually a number of reasons.
- Browser Version Compatibility. As the specification grows and changes, browser developers add new functionality to their players, and may even change the way an existing functionality is used. An example of this is when the spec changed from
preload, as the video tag attribute used to preload the video before the user hits play. Older versions of Firefox still use
autobuffer, while newer versions require
preload. VideoJS fixes this by checking for either attribute and triggering the one the browser needs.
- Additional Features. Not all built-in players support all the features you might expect from a video player, like volume control and fullscreen mode. Many HTML5 browsers, including older versions of webkit, don’t support Fullscreen Mode, so an HTML5 Video Player can simulate Fullscreen Mode by filling the browser window with the video.
- Consistent Design & Controls. Each browser has a different look & and feel to their built-in controls. If you want to present the same controls to every visitor you need an HTML5 Video Player.
- Cross Browser compatibility fixes. Sometimes a feature of one browser breaks another. For instance, if you only include one video source for your video tag, and the browser doesn’t support it, it won’t fallback to the Flash player like you might expect. It will just stop and your video won’t play. VideoJS is able to get around this by forcing the browser to fallback to Flash. This is great if you want to only encode your video to the H.264 format (Safari, Chrome, iPad, iPhone, and Flash).