Video on the Web

This is now official: W3C will be looking at the impact and challenges of video on the Web in the upcoming months. Video has exploded and is changing our experience with the Web and we can only expect this trend to increase. It is easier for individuals to produce videos than music, so expect a lot more content out there. A lot of cameras can produce videos, and the offering for camcorders keeps expanding, especially in the high definition range. Sure, the bandwidth isn’t there, with some exception in Japan and Europe, but we’ll get there, it’s only a matter of time.

I’ve been spending a good amount of my time for the past 6 weeks learning about video (Flash video, H.264, Theora, Matrosky, IPTV, RTP, SMIL video element, WCAG 2.0, etc.), mostly to get a good picture of the field. Every week sees something new in this area so I don’t expect to know everything, far from it in fact.

W3C is going to do a workshop on Video on the Web in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m currently working on the details (scope, final location, etc.). So, if you have a strong opinion about what should happen at that workshop (or what shouldn’t), don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to hear from you!

4 thoughts on “Video on the Web

  1. For youtube-equivalent quality, the bandwith is there for much larger parts of the world than Japan and Europe. If you have a 512 Mbit/sec flatrate Internet connection (ADSL, cable, whatever), you can watch quite a lot already.

    HD video will be inconvenient to embed in the browser right now, but I think it is prudent to consider what the conventions for HD on the Web ought to be.

    Should videos that fits the screen but not the current window open a new window, for example? Certainly, we don’t want “best viewed with” all over again!

  2. The issue of accessibility immediately springs to mind. Text-to-Speech readers and screen readers are now reaching a good level of maturity, but the rise of video content seems to me to create a new need for online signing, sign language or subtitles, just like conventional television. Maybe we have the advantage over television here, as including textual subtitles for video should be very straight forward online. Might it be even the case that there should be a W3C validation standard developed for this?

  3. Ask Adobe to Submit FLV. And get some guidelines going for using HTTP to serve video properly; e.g., doing chunked encoding, using partial requests on the client side, etc.

    There are lots of people doing hacky things with URIs and CGI to work around lack of support of basic HTTP features…

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