The future of video streaming
DRM’s, The HTML5 kingdom the death of Flash and Silverlight.

future_html5

Even so Silverlight is not dead yet (product lifecycle is expected to end on 2021), Flash player is closest to its dead as video container as Youtube decided a few days ago to convert to HTML5 as the main video container to stream video content, because HTML5 is used in smart TVs and other streaming devices and it benefits extend beyond web browsers.

For Youtube, other keys to the HTML5 success in video streaming are the Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) technology, that lets the site change resolution for viewers based on network quality, reducing buffering by more than 50 percent globally. Also important was HTML5’s support of the VP9 codec, which gives higher quality video at a bandwidth reduction of 35 percent in average.

This is a big step for the ecosystem, but adopting HTML5 as the main video stream container still has some limitations, especially when we are talking about DRM protected content, being the main reason because we are still depending on Silverlight or Flash. but why?

First, there were no standards defined for HTML5, until now.

In April 2014, Netflix announced they have been working together with Google (Widevine) and W3C since 2012, in defining the standards and technologies for DRM playback in HTML5, called Encrypted Media Extensions.

EME enables the browser to deliver premium video without the need for plugins, and in conjunction with other technologies as the Media Source Extensions (MSE), allow JavaScript to generate media streams for playback.

Netflix have already testing this technologies in  some Samsung Chromebooks using EME since 2013.

Most browsers are currently supporting DRM playback in HTML5 based on the EME standards, and we will see those technologies being applied to the next Smart TV’s and devices generation soon.

References:

DRM in HTML5
http://manu.sporny.org/2013/drm-in-html5/

YouTube drops Flash for HTML5 video as default
http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/27/7926001/youtube-drops-flash-for-html5-video-default

HTML5 Video at Netflix
http://techblog.netflix.com/2013/04/html5-video-at-netflix.html

Premium HTML5 Video Coming to a Browser Near You
http://www.jwplayer.com/blog/premium-html5-video/

Media Source Extensions (MSE):
http://w3c.github.io/media-source/

Encrypted Media Extensions (EME):
https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/html-media/raw-file/tip/encrypted-media/encrypted-media.html

SHAKA PLAYER By Google

https://github.com/google/shaka-player
This code was released just at the end of December by Google, and it includes examples on how to reproduce Widevine content using EME and MSE.
https://github.com/google/shaka-player/blob/master/tutorials/sample6.txt