updated 10:40 am EDT, Mon March 29, 2010
Brightcove taunts Adobe with HTML5 video
Brightcove landed a significant blow to Adobe this morning by unveiling the Brightcove Experience for HTML5. The feature will give all of the company's partners the option of playing plugin-free H.264 video on any device with an advanced browser, including the iPad as well as the iPhone OS and Android 2.x phones. Movies can include embedded ads and a fully customized interface, and the service can auto-detect browsers to steer users to the right version.
Using HTML5 is considered a 'free' bonus for those that subscribe to Brightcove's Express, Enterprise or Professional video streaming services.
As part of the unveiling, the media host said it has already lined up the New York Times and Time Inc. as early customers and that both were developing "iPad-ready" sites. No timetables were given as to when these would appear or whether they would include any significant changes.
The move could be a major loss for Adobe and Flash, as Apple's decision to demo the NYT site on the iPad without the plugin set off a flurry of Adobe criticism. It has maintained that Flash is essential to video on the web and has used the newspaper as a central example. Both the NYT and Time are unlikely to completely switch to HTML5 as Internet Explorer and some recent versions of Firefox don't fully support the new web standard, but they would allow special sites that are almost indistinguishable from the desktop versions but which can still play video inside the browser.