Brightcove’s New Players Aim To Improve HTML5 Video Compatibility

Viewing web video content on three different devices is likely to yield three different outcomes. Even if it’s possible to get the whole video to play properly, often there are inconsistencies in how the player reports itself, how the video is requested and cached, and how it is filtered or displayed. It’s bad enough for a user, but for advertising it could be fatal. If you can’t guarantee the content, how can you guarantee the ad?

Brightcove is taking this problem head-on with a new set of HTML5-compatible “smart players” and an ecosystem that tries to recognize and account for the discrepancies between Webkit renderers, OSes, and so on. They’ve put together a little pamphlet for you to peruse if you’re interested.

Essentially the announcement is that they have created a middle layer for HTML5 video analogous to the one they’ve had for Flash containers and such for years. The Brightcove abstraction layer will act as a middle man between the video container and whatever’s requesting it. This way, Brightcove can smooth out the known inconsistencies between browsers, acting as a sort of interpreter and ensuring that the video loads correctly and the tracking and ads display properly. The customization options from their Flash container now extend to HTML5 as well.

Naturally the fragmentation affecting the <video> tag is something that also needs to be figured out among the various browsers and OSes. But if you’re an advertiser and want to future-proof yourself against it right now, you don’t want to wait for Mozilla or Apple to bring their code up to code.