Netflix to release an app for the iOS, so we could finally watch streaming movies on the go? Well, iPhone and iPad users finally got their wish, as did Windows Phone 7 users, but Android users are left awaiting their own, device-specific app.Remember a couple months back, when we were all waiting breathlessly for
According to Netflix VP of Engineering Christian Kaiser, this is a key area of focus for Netflix in the coming year, and the company hopes to help define a standard that will bring streaming video to a variety of consumer electronics using HTML5.
When the company posted about its use of HTML5 technology earlier this month, it spoke of "the freedom to create rich, dynamic and interactive experiences for any platform with a web browser." HTML5, it said, was the core to its iPhone, iPad and Android apps. Immediately, the comments were filled with Linux, WebOS, Android and other platform users asking when streaming video would be brought to them. The post was later updated to say that the company would address these issues in the near future.
Today's blog post addresses this issue, explaining that HTML5 "seems like a natural next step for us to use it for streaming video playback within our HTML5-based user interfaces. However, as of today, there is no accepted standard for advanced streaming through the <video> tag."
For Netflix to use HTML5 to stream video, writes Kaiser, a number of requirements need to be met, from agreeing on protocols to formats to protecting content. He explains that, with proprietary technology such as these iPhone and iPad apps, Netflix has solved most all of these issues. The only thing remaining is "a way of exposing all this functionality into HTML5." The result would be a standard that could be used by many services to bring streaming video to nearly any device, writes Kaiser:
But what if we could replace all these proprietary solutions with an industry-wide standard? Then Netflix, or any other video streaming service, could deliver to a standard browser as a pure HTML5 web application, both on computers and in CE devices with embedded browsers. Browser builders and CE manufacturers could support every OS and device they choose, leveraging the same implementations across multiple streaming services instead of building and integrating an one-off implementation for each service. Consumers would benefit by having a growing number of continually evolving choices available on their devices, just like how the web works today for other types of services.
We believe that this is an attractive goal.
To this end, Netflix has said that it is getting involved with the community to devise a standard. It is working to define an "industry standard for adaptive streaming" and to "define the requirements for premium on-demand streaming services like ours"."
Even this description is glossing over the more technical points presented in the post, but the short of it is that this sort of advancement could bring a more device-agnostic standard to streaming video and help put an end to much of the debate over how to get streaming video on different devices.