This topic describes how to use Video Cloud smart players to deliver your video in Flash or HTML5, depending on your viewer's device capabilities.
Smart players enable you to use a single Video Cloud player so you don't have to create and manage separate players for each environment.
With the rapid growth of the mobile web, video publishers face a fragmented environment in which they can no longer reach their desired audience using Flash Player alone. In order to serve your whole audience on both desktop and mobile devices, you need to consider HTML5 video as well.
Flash has been the Internet standard for video delivery for years; HTML5 video is emerging as the new standard. While HTML5 video is developing rapidly, it has not yet reached the maturity of Flash video in terms of technology or the ecosystem of integrations that are available.
Our goal is to provide HTML5 players with all the features that we provide for Flash players as browser support for HTML5 matures. See the Current Limitations section in this topic for detailed information about the features not yet available in this release for smart players in HTML5 mode.
HTML5 mode is supported only for Apple iOS and Android OS devices. You can test whether any given device supports HTML5 mode by visiting http://admin.brightcove.com/html5support/index.html using the device's browser. That test page will report explicitly whether your device is compatible with Video Cloud HTML5 players.
All standard player templates are smart players. This means that players using standard player templates for single video players, single playlist players, and multiple playlist players can run as a Flash or HTML5 player. In HTML5 mode, standard multiple playlist templates will show only one playlist, the first playlist, or the featured playlist, if you've assigned a featured playlist. For more on setting featured playlists, see Designating featured content in players. For more details on all standard player templates, see Player Templates. In addition, custom players templates made with BEML will also act as smart players provided they use only the Supported BEML Elements for HTML5 Players
You can configure at both the account level and the individual player level whether HTML5 mode is used. By default, HTML5 mode is enabled for all players. You can disable HTML5 mode for all your existing players, or enable or disable it for individual players. Read Setting Your HTML5 Video Delivery Options for details.
Smart players can be styled just like any other Video Cloud player, with a few exceptions. You can use the Video Cloud Studio Publishing module to customize a player's look, and your custom colors, styles, images, and themes will be used by the player, whether the player is working in Flash mode or in HTML5 mode.
Localization for smart players also works the same whether the player is working in Flash mode or in HTML5 mode. However, due to cross-domain security limitations, a smart player in HTML5 mode is limited to using the Video Cloud standard player language choices and cannot load an external XML player label file that isn't hosted by Video Cloud.
Our goal is to provide HTML5 players with the same full features that we provide for Flash players as HTML5 matures. Currently, a smart player in HTML5 mode has the following functional limitations in comparison to Flash mode:
The Video Cloud smart player feature has pretty much the same content requirements as any mobile video:
For single video players, this means you should select the website code from the Quick Publish dialog:
Smart players published on HTTPS pages will cause security warnings when they load in HTML5 mode. If domain restriction is enabled for a smart player, the player won't load in HTML5 mode on an HTTPS page.
Only players created using Brightcove 3 or later (beginning with the Brightcove 3 release in September 2008) are smart players. Players you may have created in Brightcove 2 use ActionScript 2 and cannot act as smart players.
The screen shot below illustrates how a smart player renders as a Flash player or HTML5 player when it contains unsupported functions in HTML5 mode. The HTML5 chromed players do not support the email, social sharing, get code, full screen, and volume controls. Chromeless players, however, will use the native controls of the player and will not include custom developed controls such as a video quality switcher and also will not include non-supported functionality such as a social sharing control and a volume control.
Sharing features and menus. The player sharing features and menus (social sharing, get link, get code, email) are not yet available for a smart player in HTML5 mode.
Volume control. There is no volume control on the player. Viewers are expected to use the device's volume controls.
Player APIs. The Video Cloud Flash-only Player APIs are not available. Use the Smart Player APIs.
Bumpers. There is not currently any support for bumpers in HTML5 mode. Bumpers are skipped.
<Style>use only the
classattribute, not the
idattribute. When you use a style like
<Style class="videoList">, your BEML code will have two tags with the id "videoList," which prevents the player from functioning correctly in HTML5 mode.
For a smart player in HTML5 mode, video delivery is over standard HTTP. As a result, the player must pick a rendition when the viewer first starts to play the video, unless you have HLS renditions. In addition, mobile devices provide no mechanism for an HTML5 application to perform bandwidth detection. Therefore, the player doesn't have the ability to switch renditions. In order to accommodate the largest set of use cases, we pick one of the lower quality renditions to ensure playback on mobile networks. This is the rendition whose total bandwidth is the closest to 256 kbps.
A smart player in HTML5 mode will attempt to play only H.264 (MP4) files and will ignore any H.263 (FLV) renditions. On Apple iOS devices, the player will play any available Apple HTTP Live Streaming (M2TS) renditions and, if detected bandwidth is extremely low, may play an audio-only rendition if one is available.
The Analytics module includes a Platform Trends report for determining if videos are viewed from Flash or HTML5 players. The Platform Trends report shows views, viewed minutes, and viewed minutes per view, for a specified date range by the Flash or HTML5 video player platform. See the Analytics Report Reference for more on viewing platform trends.
Data about streams, player loads, and bandwidth usage from players in HTML5 mode is collected and reported in the Video Cloud Studio Reports page. This data is aggregated with data from Flash mode and there is no way to separate the HTML5 usage from the Flash usage.
Video Cloud offers limited support for running pre-roll ads for videos delivered in an HTML5 player. While procedures for trafficking your video ad campaign and assigning policies are identical to assigning ads to your Flash-delivered videos, HTML5 ad delivery requires publishing in an HTML5-enabled smart player as well as some specific ad server integration steps. For specifics and support limitations, see Delivering Advertising with HTML5.