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HTML5 Video


Many modern websites show videos. HTML5 provides a standard for showing them.

Check if your browser supports HTML5 video



Video on the Web

Before HTML5, there was no standard for showing videos/movies on web pages.

Before HTML5, videos could only be played with a plug-in (like flash). However, different browsers supported different plug-ins.

HTML5 defines a new element which specifies a standard way to embed a video or movie on a web page: the <video> element.


Browser Support

Internet Explorer Firefox Opera Google Chrome Safari

Internet Explorer 9+, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and Safari support the <video> element.

Note: Internet Explorer 8 and earlier versions, do not support the <video> element.


HTML5 Video - How It Works

To show a video in HTML5, this is all you need:

Example

<video width="320" height="240" controls>
  <source src="movie.mp4" type="video/mp4">
  <source src="movie.ogg" type="video/ogg">
Your browser does not support the video tag.
</video>

Try it yourself »

The control attribute adds video controls, like play, pause, and volume.

It is also a good idea to always include width and height attributes. If height and width are set, the space required for the video is reserved when the page is loaded. However, without these attributes, the browser does not know the size of the video, and cannot reserve the appropriate space to it. The effect will be that the page layout will change during loading (while the video loads).

You should also insert text content between the <video> and </video> tags for browsers that do not support the <video> element.

The <video> element allows multiple <source> elements. <source> elements can link to different video files. The browser will use the first recognized format.


Video Formats and Browser Support

Currently, there are 3 supported video formats for the <video> element: MP4, WebM, and Ogg:

Browser MP4 WebM Ogg
Internet Explorer YES NO NO
Chrome YES YES YES
Firefox NO
Update: Firefox 21 running on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista, and Android now supports MP4
YES YES
Safari YES NO NO
Opera NO YES YES
  • MP4 = MPEG 4 files with H264 video codec and AAC audio codec
  • WebM = WebM files with VP8 video codec and Vorbis audio codec
  • Ogg = Ogg files with Theora video codec and Vorbis audio codec

MIME Types for Video Formats

Format MIME-type
MP4 video/mp4
WebM video/webm
Ogg video/ogg


HTML5 <video> - DOM Methods and Properties

HTML5 has DOM methods, properties, and events for the <video> and <audio> elements.

These methods, properties, and events allow you to manipulate <video> and <audio> elements using JavaScript.

There are methods for playing, pausing, and loading, for example and there are properties (like duration and volume). There are also DOM events that can notify you when the <video> element begins to play, is paused, is ended, etc.

The example below illustrate, in a simple way, how to address a <video> element, read and set properties, and call methods.

Example 1

Create simple play/pause + resize controls for a video:




Video courtesy of Big Buck Bunny.

The example above calls two methods: play() and pause(). It also uses two properties: paused and width.

Try it yourself »

For a full reference go to our HTML5 Audio/Video DOM Reference.


HTML5 Video Tags

Tag Description
<video> Defines a video or movie
<source> Defines multiple media resources for media elements, such as <video> and <audio>
<track> Defines text tracks in media players




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