Hulu developers have come out describing HTML5 as not ready to deliver video content, and that Adobe’s Flash still reigns supreme.

“When it comes to technology, our only guiding principle is to best serve the needs of all of our key customers: our viewers, our content partners who license programs to us, our advertisers, and each other. We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs. Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren’t necessarily visible to the end user. Not all video sites have these needs, but for our business these are all important and often contractual requirements” wrote Eugene Wei, VP of Product at Hulu.

With Apple putting all its eggs in the HTML5 basket, it seems others aren’t so sure. Adobe’s concerns appear valid, and today launched its We Love Choice campaign.

“At Adobe, we believe that the open flow of creativity, ideas, and information should be limited only by the imagination. Innovation thrives when people are free to choose the technologies that enable them to openly express themselves and access information where and when they want. Everyone loses when technological barriers impede the exchange of ideas” the campaign says.

It’s clear the HTML5 vs Flash debate is far from over.

2 Responses
  1. Avatar

    “secure the content”

    These guys are a joke. Flash doesn’t secure the content, because it’s impossible to secure the content. With my little knowledge of javascript, I can easily create a Firefox extension that will save the video you are watching in Hulu to your desktop (or anywhere else) without a problem. Of course, I also happen to know a bit of flash, but well, it’s not secure. Anything that can be seen and/or heard in your computer can be stored in your computer. Sound, video, image, anything. Flash makes it a bit harder, but so can HTML5 through javascript.

    On the other hand, they do have a point: HTML5 won’t kill Flash. Flash will kill itself, and Hulu will die with it if they stick to it. With the upcoming Firefox 3.6.4, people will start to notice how much Flash causes problems, because they’ll be able to differentiate, instead of just guess.

  2. Avatar

    I think the main benefit of using Flash over HTML5 here is the ability for Hulu to specify the codec used, and for the player to communicate with the server to help determine the required bit rate, something which HTML5 video is not capable of at this point.