Can you give an example of a HTML5 Video Codec?


HTML5 video codec

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During your IT interview, you may be asked to give an example of a HTML5 video codec. Let us tell you the main facts you need to include in your answer to impress your interviewers. Take a look!

What are HTML5 Video Codecs?

This is the main thing you should know if you want to provide a complete answer. Essentially, a codec is a software used to compress and decompress video files so that it can be utilized online easier. A codec will help you compress a video file by fragmenting it into separate parts (videos, the subtitles, etc.) and decreasing the size of the file so that it can be sent online much easier. Then, as the file is decompressed, it can be reassembled into a full video file that can be played properly.

Are HTML5 Codecs Specific to Browsers?

Initially every browser was supposed to provide support for the two HTML5 codec types (Ogg Theora, which is used for video files and Ogg Vorbis, which is used for audio files). However, due to the large number of browser options and commercial interests, at the moment, each browser has its own codec and container settings. The two most used codec and container combinations used online are as follows:

  • The WebM Container and the VP8 Codec
  • The MP4 Container and the H.264 Codec

HTML5 Video Codec – Browsers Compatibility

Take a look at the following table to get an idea of the main types of HTML5 codecs used among the various browsers and the level of compatibility between them:

FirefoxChromeSafariOperaInternet Explorer 9+
MP4 Container+ H.264 CodecNONOYESNOYES
WEBM Container + VP8 CodecYESYESNOYESYES
OGV Container + Ogg Theora CodecYESYESNOYESNO

Which Is the Best HTML5 Codec?

Choosing the best HTML5 codec is virtually impossible because there are many factors to be taken into consideration. One of them obviously is the type of browser you use. Therefore, the type of HTML5 codec you use depends quite a bit on what you do on the internet. From a general standpoint, MP4 and WebM are essentially better than the Ogg because they can provide a better compression of the files.

Image Source: Wikimedia

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