Make JW Player Your Website’s Hero

A few pages on our website use full-motion backgrounds to catch the eye of our visitors. Our recently redesigned homepage as well as our 404 page use JW Player to load a playlist and cycle through the videos in with smooth transitions in between. I'll share with you how we do it, and give some tips on best practices for using video for your website's hero.

HTML5 by Default – The Deprecation of Flash in Major Browsers

Update: With HTML5 favored by default, the latest version of JW Player will ensure optimal viewing experience! JW Player has been working hard to understand the trend of HTML5 and optimize our product for HTML5, understanding that flash-based video was not in-line with future industry standards. Our HTML5-first video player consistently helps publishers distribute high quality on demand and live videos on every desktop and mobile browser. Check it out here to see which JW Player edition best supports your video goals. Also read this HTML5 report to learn more about the state of the technology.   spooky-flash-v3 Flash is once again in the spotlight as Google follows through on their multi-year plan to phase out plugin support in Chrome and favor HTML5 by default.

Adaptive Streaming with HLS in HTML5

UpdateJW Player now offers the highest quality HLS playback across HTML5 desktop and mobile devices! Our market leading HLS support allows you to deliver innovative video experiences for your viewers. Check out all JW Player’s streaming features here. To learn more about the state of HTML5 video and adaptive streaming with HLS, read this report on our developer site. Also, watch this demo that shows JW Player loading fragments by comparing your bandwidth to the available video bitrates. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Adaptive streaming is the ability for a video player to dynamically adjust video quality based on available bandwidth, device performance and network conditions. Most modern web browsers only support progressive video playback which does not allow for seamless quality switching. The responsibility to provide adaptive streaming falls on modern video players like JW Player. Adaptive playback comes in many formats and protocols and the popularity of each format has changed over the years. We are happy to announce support for HLS playback in JavaScript, taking advantage of the HTML5 Media Source Extensions in desktop Chrome.  With only a few exceptions, HLS in HTML5 will work as it did with Flash, just faster! hls in html5

JW Player’s New AMP HTML Component

I'm pleased to announce that our JW Player component for AMP HTML is enabled in the latest release of AMP JS (version 1459447315826). The component is free and can be used with any JW Player edition. For instructions on how to use <amp-jwplayer> in your AMP pages, see our README in the AMP Github repository.

Why Do We Need AMP HTML?

To quote the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project's web site, "Accelerated Mobile Pages are web pages designed to load instantaneously–they are a step towards a better mobile web for all." Indeed, using the mobile web has become a gloomy experience in the past couple years. Most pages are still designed for desktop computers with powerful CPUs, lots of memory, and very fast connections. When viewed on a phone, these pages load slowly, media jitters wildly, scrolling in pages is maddeningly janky. For more background on the challenges facing the mobile web, see the AMP Project announcement on Google’s blog. So how can using AMP HTML solve these problems? In short, by enforcing restrictions on how pages are constructed to prioritize loading and rendering speed in mobile browsers above all else. This is a gross over-simplification, so if you want more depth, Ryan Chenkie over at Auth0 has written an excellent overview. Besides better page performance, using AMP will get your pages highlighted in the Top Stories section of Google mobile search results, as illustrated in this screenshot: amp-screenshot For the fully AMP-ified Google experience, visit Google's news carousel demo in your mobile browser.

Flash Throttling: Improving the Experience

There has been much ado in the news lately about Chrome and its active pausing of smaller Flash-based content. A recent post regarding this behavior was published when our VPAID 2.0 support was launched. We’re now happy to report that our latest release, JW Player 7.1.4, goes a step further. We're now able to provide a better experience for viewers by intelligently reacting to Chrome’s Flash throttling.

Introducing JW Player 7

I would like to introduce JW Player 7 -- our fastest, smartest, and most customizable player yet. JW7 was reengineered from the core API to the visual interface to provide the best online video experience no matter what device, browser, and rendering mode is used to play your content. We have added MPEG-DASH support which will help transition away from Flash based streaming protocols. The player is also completely customizable now with CSS. Alongside JW7’s launch is also a brand new dashboard to make publishing and configuring JW Player even easier.

The State of HTML5 on the Fifth Anniversary of the iPad

For fans of HTML5, the release of the iPad, five years ago, was big news. The much-hyped device was not compatible with the popular multimedia platform Flash, a choice Apple doubled down on a few weeks later when Steve Jobs published his now famous “Thoughts on Flash”. Five years ago, one of the biggest technology companies put their weight behind HTML5 as a successor to Flash. Let’s take a look at where the technology currently stands, and how it has evolved since then. HTML5 wallpaper by BQRA

Premium HTML5 Video Coming to a Browser Near You

With the recent announcements from Apple/Netflix and Mozilla, all modern desktop browsers will soon support the proposed HTML Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) standard. EME provides a standardized approach for playing encrypted content in HTML5. One application of encrypted video is the enforcement of Digital Rights Management (DRM) on paid video content. Many content owners (film studios, sports leagues, etc.) mandate using DRM to distribute their content online.

HTML5 video lockbox

What does all of this alphabet soup mean for users? In short, the EME standard enables publishers to deliver premium video to browsers without the need for plugins. To date, doing DRM in the browser requires the Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight or Google Widevine plugins. These plugins use non-interoperable file formats, protocols and DRM key systems, creating fragmentation. EME solves (most of) these issues, enabling premium video in HTML5 using a single file format and streaming protocol.

Free Webinar: The State of HTML 5 Video

On Wednesday 16 April at 2pm EST, we hosted a free webinar on the State of HTML5 Video. Jeroen Wijering was joined by Sam Dutton of Google Chrome and Mark Robertson of ReelSEO to provide insights, present demos and answer your questions on HTML5 video.