After the wait of over four years, YouTube has finally ditched Flash in favour of HTML5 videos. The leading video hosting platform now serves HTML5 videos by default, which is supported on Chrome, IE 11, Firefox beta, Safari 8, Chromecast and modern Smart TV browsers.
Thanks to HTML5 and related technologies, watching YouTube no longer requires Flash plugin, as most of the modern browsers now support native video rendering without the support of third-party plugins. Along with this, YouTube had to wait for several other factors involved in optimized video delivery across platforms and browsers, like the Adaptive Bitrate (ABR), MediaSource Extension API, latest V9 video codec, WebRTC and Fullscreen API.
YouTube explains in this blog post that the ABR helps in reducing buffering, while Google’s own V9 media codec results average bandwidth reduction of 35% as compared to other popular codecs (read H.265). WebRTC enables YouTube users to broadcast with in the browser without any third-party dependency.
Similarly, HTML5 Fullscreen API allows users to switch over the full screen mode. These modern technologies are collectively helping YouTube to built up great user experience without Flash.