YouTube now uses HTML5 by default

YouTube now uses HTML5 to play videos by default, putting another nail in the coffin of Adobe Flash.

Work to transition to HTML5 began four years ago. One of the key barriers engineers had to adopting HTML5 was the initial lack of support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR), which cuts down on buffering without compromising video quality.

"Over the last four years, we've worked with browser vendors and the broader community to close those gaps, and now, YouTube uses HTML5

by default in Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8 and in beta versions of Firefox," explained Richard Leider, engineering manager in the YouTube engineering and developers blog.

The switch to HTML5 is important because it works across web browsers and other streaming devices such as Smart TVs. Lieder also claimed it's helped Google to usher in products like the Chromecast and Chromebook.

Other benefits of HTML5 include support for the open VP9 codec, which provides higher quality video resolution at a third of the bandwidth. This means users will have access to 4K and HD videos at 60FPS, which will load up to 80 per cent faster.

Leider also gave a shout out to Apple, Microsoft, Netflix and Vimeo, companies which have all helped to drive forward the HTML5 standard.

"You can support HTML5 by using the everywhere you embed YouTube videos on the web," he added.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.