Allow HTML5 Players in Flash-Supported Environments

This document covers the process of allowing videos to play in an HTML5 player when showing videos on computers and smartphones that support Flash, but do not have Flash installed.

A Video Cloud smart player is capable of running as a Flash player or as an HTML5 player. Brightcove developed smart players so that you can show your videos in HTML5 players on devices that do not support the Flash player, such as Apple devices. Video Cloud smart players play your videos in a Flash player on desktop machines and devices that support Flash and have it installed, and otherwise play your videos in HTML5 players. For more on Video Cloud smart players, see Delivering Video with HTML5 and Smart Players.

You can implement an HTML5 fallback, so that a video plays in an HTML5 player on desktop machines and devices that support Flash, do not have Flash installed, and provide the required HTML5 video support. By default, if Flash is not installed on these Flash-supported environments, the player prompts the viewer to install Flash. When implementing HTML5 fallback, rather than prompting the viewer to install Flash, the video plays in an HTML5 player.

Note: HTML fallback is supported in Internet Explorer 11, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Setting HTML5 fallback for a player

To implement HTML5 fallback for a player, add the following parameter to the player publishing code on the HTML page hosting the player:

<param name="htmlFallback" value="true" />


When should publishers consider using HTML5 fallback?

Typically publishers do not need to allow a video to play in an HTML5 player, because Flash usually comes installed on reasonably new computers and mobile devices that support Flash. Still, if your environment supports all the requirements of HTML5 fallback implementation, you might elect to allow an HTML5 player for the following reasons: 

  • You don't want your viewers who do not have Flash installed to go through the trouble of installing Flash.
  • You show your content to audiences at organizations that prohibit the installation of Flash.

Requirements and limitations

HTML5 fallback implementation requires the following:

  • HTML5 fallback is only supported when Flash is not installed.
  • HTML5 fallback is only supported for browsers that support the HTML5 Canvas and Video tags, as well as the H264 codec. HTML5 playback will work in IE10, with some styling issues, but not in prior versions of IE.
  • HTML5 players support videos as H.264 codec only; do not set HTML5 fallback for videos not formatted as H.264.
  • HTML5 players do not support FMS Live content; do not set HTML5 fallback for FMS live streams.
  • HTML5 players do not support ActionScript and SWF development using the Video Cloud Player API; do not set HTML5 fallback for such players.

When using the HTML5 fallback option, players will load with limited or no functionality when implemented in the following ways:

  • Videos played using HTML5 fallback must be delivered via streaming with UDS enabled, or via Progressive Download. HTML5 fallback players for videos delivered via streaming without UDS will send an error message identifying invalid codecs and protocols.
  • All unsupported BEML components for HTML players apply when implementing HTML5 fallback.