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CBS and Apple power up for HTML5 on the iPad, freeing users from the proprietary Flash format... with another proprietary format, H.264.
Maybe Apple was right... if it can convince enough key players to adopt HTML5

The good news for HTML5 advocates is that Apple's iPad for better or worse may finally push the format into the mainstream, which could eventually displace proprietary formats like Flash and Silverlight.  The bad news is that Apple has pushed a version of HTML5 that uses another proprietary format -- H.264.

This week observers discovered that the homepage contained some suspicious new "iPad - test" links.  Clicking these links in the desktop browser would redirect to a page with TV episodes on a Flash-driven player.  If you spoofed your browser's User Agent to think you were an iPad or used the iPad SDK Simulator, though, you were redirected to an HTML5 version of the player.

Currently the videos do not play.  However, the feature to enter "fullscreen mode" is properly functioning in the iPad SDK Simulator.

So what does this all mean?

Well with CBS onboard the iPad and HTML5 score a big victory in their fight against Flash.  CBS is a huge player in the TV business and beat out Fox to become the most viewed network in 2008-2009.  Its TV shows include 
NCIS: Los AngelesThe Good WifeTwo and a Half MenCriminal MindsCSI: NYNumb3rsCold CaseHow I Met Your MotherBig Bang TheoryThe Mentalist,Survivor, Cold CaseThe Amazing Race, and 60 Minutes.

What it also means is that it drives HTML5 farther towards a proprietary implementation.  H.264 patents are owned by a group of companies who license the format through independent Denver-based MPEG LA, LLC.  In countries that uphold software patents (like the U.S.), both browser makers (like Apple) and commercial content providers (like CBS) may have to pay to use the codec.

The alternative proposed by the open source community is to use an HTML5 implementation that uses the Ogg Theora codec, a similar video technology.  Users of this implementation would not have to pay licensing fees.  Some, such as Google and Apple, have suggested that Theora is not powerful enough, but demonstrations show that video feeds in H.264 vs. Theora show little noticeable difference to the end user.

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Damn u Mr. Edison!
By gralex on 3/25/2010 11:49:22 AM , Rating: 3
Damn u Sony, and finally damn u Apple.

Is it just me or is anybody else tired of these proprietary, patent trollin' and gready douches?

May I have some more industry standards please?
Pretty please?

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By serkol on 3/25/2010 11:55:27 AM , Rating: 5
h264 is proprietary, but it is only a data format.

mp3 is another proprietary data format. Are you opposed to mp3? Do you use it? Do you feel any burden of mp3 being "proprietary"?

Flash is "proprietary everything" (data and player) - this is MUCH worse.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By B3an on 3/29/2010 8:05:33 AM , Rating: 2
Flash, like Silverlight, are application platforms though. HTML5 is a markup spec, that is still not finalized (and wont be for years).

HTML5 can never replace either. It would be like a HTML5 OS trying to replace Windows. Or to put it another way, it would be like comparing the .net and C languages to HTML5.
Theres just things it cannot do. It's nowhere near as powerful a tool. And because of this Flash and Silverlight will always be needed unless something thats open and as powerful comes along.

I use all formats, and i'm not bias, but anyone who has any experience with Flash, Silverlight, and HTML5 would (or should!) know this. Which is why i'm sick of all the "HTML5 will kill FLASH LOLZ" comments on articles like ths.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By B3an on 3/29/2010 8:20:20 AM , Rating: 2
Oh and i'd also like to add that Silverlight uses .net and Visual Studio for development (the most power platform around). Silverlight will be used heavily in Windows Phone 7 series OS.

Flash uses ActionScript, with the latest version (3.0) being a lot like a C language.

Bit off topic here i know lol, but hopefully people will read this and get educated on this subject. It's quite shocking how little people know about this stuff, especially on a tech site (including the authors!).

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By Phynaz on 3/25/2010 12:17:48 PM , Rating: 5
H.264 is an industry standard.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By Samus on 3/25/2010 6:32:49 PM , Rating: 3
some fools might say flash is an industry standard too. when regarding market share, i suppose it is.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By Lifted on 3/25/2010 12:22:23 PM , Rating: 4
So you think industry standards are never proprietary? That couldn't be further from the truth.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By kingmotley on 3/25/2010 2:27:27 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, by definition.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By tophat on 3/25/2010 1:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
Think HDMI. It's the de facto standard for consumer level electronics that requires licensing.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By gralex on 3/25/2010 1:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
You're preaching to the choir. Tell that to a MacBook.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By bhieb on 3/25/2010 1:20:34 PM , Rating: 3
Is it just me or is anybody else tired of these proprietary, patent trollin' and gready douches?

Aww to be young and naive. Everything should be free, open and license free we should all work for the good of all mankind with no reward for our efforts.

Get over it H.264 is a widely accepted standard same as others have pointed out. Licensed/Owned/Proprietary <> bad. The people doing the work deserve to be compensated.

Standards are nice and have a place, but your pick one and only one attitude would stifle innovation and slow progress. We'd all still be carrying around our stack of vinyl records or going to live plays if not for a very long chain of proprietary methods to mobilize the audio and video experience.

Keep it as is and let the "best" man win. The market will decide and a "standard" will be chosen. As it has been for decades.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By gralex on 3/25/2010 1:53:58 PM , Rating: 2
Since I completely agree with you, I obviously oversimplyfied my comment and got accross the wrong message. It's the WAY in which some companies stick to their guns, that is frustrating (think Memory Stick as just one of many examples). And yes, H.264 is quite possibly the best codec out there. What get's me is that it's the ONLY thing my PSP will play....

Can I have more industry standards in the same box, please?
There, I fixed it:-)

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By bhieb on 3/25/2010 4:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
Understood, then I suggest you vote with your wallet as I do. You will not find 1 item in my house that is Sony, for that and other reasons.

<edit> Well crap my camcorder is but it was a gift from my wife and I did not have the heart to take it back. BTW I hate it some lame video format of course. Honestly I will probably re-gift it later this year and get a different one. Oh and blu-ray in an htpc that never gets used.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By someguy123 on 3/25/2010 9:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that's also a part of competition and licensing costs.

Having to support multiple standards will just drive cost up. Having your own proprietary standard can save you tons on licensing, provided that your product is successful.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By The0ne on 3/26/2010 10:40:59 AM , Rating: 2
Haha I think your post came across wrong as well and it appears, is, that people are reading it as is. But yes, I agree with you on the proprietary techs especially Sony.

For my PSP, I even go as far as getting a memory stick adapter that accepts microSD ^_^y So now I have 32GB/64GB readily available...for cheap! :)

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By digitalreflex on 3/25/2010 2:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
As long as everyone uses the same thing I have no problem with it. Very annoying when you couldn't watch a video file because the codec used to make it isn't on your machine.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By Abrahmm on 3/25/2010 3:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't flash considered an industry "standard" until this whole Apple debacle?

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By bhieb on 3/25/2010 4:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
Some would argue it still is an industry standard. As far as adoption rate goes I'm sure it trounces the competition. All I am saying is that it is normal for more than one method to arise (not just normal but good). Flash will evolve or die off, tis the nature of business.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By ZachDontScare on 3/25/2010 2:07:18 PM , Rating: 3
Is it just me or is anybody else tired of these proprietary, patent trollin' and gready douches?

The bigger companies like them, because it severely raises entry costs into a market, limiting competition to only those other companies that can afford licensing fees.

They also dislike open source codecs because, at least in their minds, if there's no clear patent holder, then its possible down the road they could get sued by someone claiming to own the patent on the open source technology.

RE: Damn u Mr. Edison!
By jconan on 3/26/2010 10:27:45 PM , Rating: 1
Isn't Apple also a patent trolling and greedy too? Apple vs. HTC?

By blazeoptimus on 3/25/2010 11:53:45 AM , Rating: 4
User experience aside, sometimes larger corporations tend to favor software that you pay for, viewing it as "you get what you pay for", or "there is no such thing as a free lunch". As you can imagine, support might not be as good as the payed product. Or as a larger customer (aka Apple, or CBS) you would have less pull with the developers since your not paying them. Lets face it, these companies are in it for the whole bag of marbles, and the more control they can exert on the market the better for their bottom line. That's just my take on it anyway.

By XZerg on 3/25/2010 1:26:22 PM , Rating: 1

The problem with Open Source is that there is no guaranteed support and it is harder to control the pace at which the issues get resolved. When you are in a business, you want your a$$ covered by having a dedicated support and someone to blame on or collect from when there is a screw-up.

The problem with Open Source or Free software is that it really hinders the advances in many ways. As it is free there are no real obligations to meet certain deadlines or goals, add more innovations, provide support it. It is like a hobby in which some offer great service and some drag it. I bet if there was something for the free/open source community in doing a better job if not similar to non-free, Linux would have had a much simpler GUI and it would have easily replaced Windows as the top OS. Just look at how much vibe ChromeOS is getting or Mac OSX which too is built on the *nix kernel.

It is the reward that one gets that provides a drive to push further.

Also given Apple's sky high prices compared to Windows+PC, it would be easily thought that Apple would have been easily defeated. But here we are with Apple breaking records after records in revenues. It is not due to dumbass customers that most of us, including myself, blame many times. It is simply the fact that Apple delivered a product that kept things simple - limited complexity attached to everything in support the universe - for the users and added the looks to their products. Microsoft took and has to now support the path in which it tried to support everything in the universe. Big reasons why their ideas fail is that they led their users to feel that their product just isn't solid. Put it the other way - Mac followed the Linux motto: Do one thing and do it right, versus Windows tried doing Jack of all trades master of none motto. The fine line between going for best and going for most.

Personally I support and stand by Microsoft for what they have done so far and will continue so long as they offer cheaper product to me at the cost of me having to do a bit on my end to make the overall experience good.

By XZerg on 3/25/2010 3:06:36 PM , Rating: 3
I am not praising Apple nor am I bashing Microsoft. This is just a statement to the different approaches taken by the two. Both have their own benefits and disadvantages. Apple's benefit is that it gets to claim more solid and simple system and charge enough to generate better revenue even with less sales. On the other hand Microsoft claims widely used and higher compatibility with software and hardware and charge less for huge sales volume. If it not were for the illegal versions used by many, Microsoft's overall revenue would be tremendous. How else can you explain Windows OS % used share versus Mac OS % used and the crazy difference in revenue regardless of the OSes selling for about the same?

By crystal clear on 3/26/2010 12:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
Highly appreciate your level headed thinking free of bias.

If it not were for the illegal versions used by many, Microsoft's overall revenue would be tremendous

The crazy difference in revenues is due to the fact that Apple enforces its claims on its O.S. in courts to prevent the piracy of its software-example Psystar.

This is not the first time apple killed Mac Clones. ...

Microsoft is lax & inefficient in its enforcement to prevent piracy,thus negatively affecting their overall revenues.

Infact Microsoft allows you to pirate their software under the misguided excuse that those pirating could choose Linux instead.

If Microsft tolerates blatant piracy of their software-they can blame themselves for that.

If Microsft wants, they can crash computers using their pirated software,the moment they go online.

Microsoft is responsible for all this- Stand up for your rights !.

By Pirks on 3/25/2010 3:11:32 PM , Rating: 1
I see you really want to get under the red carpet too. Why?

By crystal clear on 3/25/2010 9:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
I have a different agenda-

I want the articles rated by the readers/comentators & NOT the comments.

I want an unbiased /accurate & an ethical reporting.

I want a well researched article.

I want to break the Apple bashers monopoly by contradicting them on every opportunity I get.

I want a healthy debate without those ratings.

I like to add some fun/entertainment value to Applebashing.

You Pirks are a lone Ranger fighting the mob,so like to help you out.

As for the red carpet...lets rip it apart.

By Pirks on 3/26/2010 9:05:22 AM , Rating: 2
lets rip it apart
Not enough of us to do this unfortunately

Battery life?
By Tanclearas on 3/25/2010 2:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
So, Jobs claimed that they weren't implementing Flash because it would kill battery life. That implies that H264 decoding is significantly less power-intensive than Flash, admittedly perhaps just on Apple's portable platforms.

I still find that a little difficult to believe. Even if true, I would be surprised if the difference in battery life was substantial.

RE: Battery life?
By Keeir on 3/25/2010 4:47:34 PM , Rating: 2
Hrm.... I think your confusing things a little bit. H264 decode really isn't that bad at Ipad/Iphone screen resolutions.

Flashes issues are pretty bad (IMO)... I've watched youtube/flash sites bring 4/5 year old laptops to a standstill playing 480/240 content.

The very fact that people are excited about Flash Offload to GPU should give you a clue on the increasing processor power required to use Flash.

RE: Battery life?
By Lerianis on 3/28/2010 10:50:41 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of that processor power usage is from apps being written wrong. One online flash game I play daily rewrote their game recently, and made a LOT of improvement.... it's now playable on my 3 year old, IGS computer.

Jason, you're confusing the issues....
By slashbinslashbash on 3/25/2010 12:38:14 PM , Rating: 4
HTML 5 does not become any more or less proprietary when it is used with codecs like H.264. The codec is just the video storage format. Just like MP3 is an audio storage format (also proprietary, owned by Fraunhofer). HTML 5 has many improvements over HTML 4 when it comes to embedding different kinds of media directly in web pages instead of having to rely on embedded Flash, Silverlight, QT, etc. Flash videos themselves can use various codecs, including H.264 (H.264 support was one of the big selling points of Flash 9).... but when playing them, you have the added software layer of Flash getting between the end-user and the video source. In other words, here's a simplified version of the software stack for current Flash-based video:

Video codec -> Flash -> Browser -> OS

Moving to HTML 5 will remove Flash from that equation; the browser itself will know how to deal with various video codecs. It is no surprise that Apple is pushing H.264 as opposed to other codecs since they have built a lot of H.264 support into QuickTime. And let's face it, H.264 is really pretty good. Furthermore, it is a standard adopted by the MPEG, just as MP3 was before it. H.264 is used by Blu-Ray discs, YouTube, you name it.... it's one of the best codecs available for video in terms of the tradeoff between size and quality.

RE: Jason, you're confusing the issues....
By Phynaz on 3/25/10, Rating: 0
By crystal clear on 3/25/2010 1:56:25 PM , Rating: 1
Applebashers are pizza delivery boys....delivering the same old stale pizza.

Apple is not right
By rudy on 3/25/2010 1:25:06 PM , Rating: 2
HTML always falls behind way to fast and for way to long before they finally update. For the current basic time HTML 5 will be nice but flash, silverlight and the likes will quickly out run html 5 and developers will need more available.

RE: Apple is not right
By kylebilenki on 3/25/2010 1:50:26 PM , Rating: 3
Rudy is right imo. HTML5 right now looks good, but will it remain current and attractive as time goes on? Will conformance and implementation between the various browsers be uniform so software developers don't have to write a branch for each browser they wish to support?

These problems still exist today when xHTML was suppose to resolve a lot of the messy markup practices that HTML4 had. And we're no better off, web application still need to branch every which way to account for the various implementation "quirks" that browsers have.

xHTML looked and sounded great back in 2000 when the first version was released to the world, and 10 years later we're still using the same version. No updates, no modernizations.

Flash, Silverlight, and the like offer developers a way to create a single "simplified" page that will run on any platform, any browser (provided the runtime exists for the platform or browser).

Don't get me wrong, HTML5 sounds fantastic. But I feel that its going to become stagnant quickly and adoption won't be uniform. Especially when its parted against technologies who are designed and developed by a single entity (such as Adobe or Microsoft).

By crystal clear on 3/26/2010 12:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe Apple was right... if it can convince enough key players to adopt HTML5

Apple with their iPad have certainly convinced key players NOT only to adopt HTMLs but provided them the stimulus package to revive their growth potentials.

Heres more on that from the Wall Street journal-

MARCH 24, 2010 Magazines Use the iPad as Their New Barker
Advertisers Gather Around as Publishers Tout Tablet Device's Bells and Whistles

Time magazine has signed up Unilever, Toyota Motor , Fidelity Investments and at least three others for marketing agreements priced at about $200,000 apiece for a single ad spot in each of the first eight issues of the magazine's iPad edition

Magazines largely are planning downloadable iPad applications that are near-replicas of the stories in the print versions, but they are demonstrating the new-media bells and whistles for advertisers: add-ons like videos, social-networking tools and navigation that take advantage of the large screen, touch technology and Internet connections of the tablet computer.

Time Inc.'s Sport Illustrated has been showing advertisers three video-heavy ad prototypes, including one for a Ford Mustang that includes an arcade-style driving game using the tilt-and-turn capability of the iPad. With a few touches to the screen, readers can pick paint colors and wheel styles for cars they might want to buy.

Through a marketing deal with Procter & Gamble's Gillette brand that was brokered by Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest, Rodale's Men's Health magazine will offer iPad users 10 free pages of its April and May iPad editions. Gillette Odor Shield products will be the lone advertiser on what Rodale executives are calling the "preview issue" of Men's Health for the iPad. Those who choose to download the full iPad issue will pay the $4.99 Men's Health newsstand price.

The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are working with test iPads, according to people familiar with the matter. Six advertisers, including Coca-Cola and FedEx, have agreed to advertise with the Journal, and a four-month ad package costs $400,000, according to these people. Coke and FedEx declined to comment on terms.

"Some of the things you can do are just mind blowing," says Steve Pacheco, FedEx's director of advertising. "You are taking something that used to be flat on a page and making it interactive and have it jump off the page."

Magazine publishers see the device as crucial to their future as they scour for new ways to make money , with print advertising still under threat.
Digital advertising has been a disappointment for many publishers, but with the iPad they feel they have a technology that best marries the splashy look and size of a full-page print ad with the cool interactive features of a digital ad—and the ability to count how many people saw it.

(Sorry cannot give the link-needs subscription.)

By crystal clear on 3/26/2010 1:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
Who needs flash?
By invidious on 3/25/2010 12:47:29 PM , Rating: 1
Who needs flash?
How about anybody who wants to view the tens of thousands of websites that already use flash? Those sites probably wont be converting over to HTML5 simply because the Apple wants them to.

Unless the HTML5 plugin can somehow also play flash content (which I HIGHLY doubt is the case) this doesn't alleviate the need for people to have the flash plugin at all.

RE: Who needs flash?
By kingmotley on 3/25/2010 2:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
Actually if the site is already using flash to play h.264 content, then yes, it will be a simple conversion without the need to re-encode existing media. You can also send that h.264 to any bluray player.

Ogg Theora is expensive in comparision. Consider the cost of having to re-encode all media to ogg for the web AND h.264 for bluray. Now add the extra bandwidth costs to send down the larger ogg format. Obsolete many current media players, etc etc. I don't see how the ogg theora fans can justify all the problems and headaches involved in comparison to h.264 that is already out there, working great, is FREE to every web browser, and even licensing for other uses runs less that 3/10ths of 1 cent per device in most cases.

Silverlight for Macs
By crystal clear on 3/27/2010 4:38:42 AM , Rating: 2
which could eventually displace proprietary formats like Flash and Silverlight.

Microsoft to extend Silverlight for Mac?

Microsoft's Silverlight media player has, with version 4 due next month, gone from being closed source but able to work on other platforms - the Mac - to being increasingly tied to Windows.

H264 X OGG - The consumer is in charge.
By greylica on 3/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: H264 X OGG - The consumer is in charge.
By angryplayer on 3/25/2010 1:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
Be honest here. Corporations need to be able to trust the product like we need to trust ours. Sure Ogg may be free, but who do you turn to when you need support? A community that half the time brushes you off with JFGI? Licensing isn't really about licensing anymore, it's more about the support you receive from the vested interest in keeping you paying those fees. And you get it straight from the devs. Good luck trying to get Ogg devs answering your 101 questions.

RE: H264 X OGG - The consumer is in charge.
By greylica on 3/25/2010 3:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
No Sir, YOU are completely wrong. I am using Free software in about 6 years and there is no one question unsolved until now, the communitty support is superb !
The fact that you can't blame a few persons by your problems or force them to implement a non standard library (that's what normally happens) doens't mean the support is uneffective. In Fact, Free software is much more stable in it's consolidated libraries, so persons like you and me and everyone can benefit of a secure developing for multimedia.
But there is one thing I have to admit, the documentation projects are needing persons (documenters/translators), I am doing my part of the Job, free for everyone, and you ?
Are you helping your free software developer to broke FUD mentality cages like the one you showed here ?

RE: H264 X OGG - The consumer is in charge.
By rudy on 3/26/2010 1:49:44 AM , Rating: 2
You may have a different experience my experience with most free products is not very good support. But for arguements sake lets say that you were right.

Another problem is that free software has no one or money to push it and that matters. How many execs are even going to know about free software. Paid companies can afford to send reps to any place that does web development and try to get them to use the software and show them how. They also have money to do the same at schools where the next wave of devs are being taught. With most free software you have to purchase support separate and find it on your own.

By Lerianis on 3/28/2010 10:57:20 PM , Rating: 2
Any exec worth his salt would be looking for FREE solutions rather than PAID solutions, to be blunt. Otherwise, they just aren't doing their job.

By KoolAidMan1 on 3/26/2010 2:53:12 AM , Rating: 1
Ogg Theora is based on a horribly inefficient codec. If you compare image quality at comparable bitrates, it is crap. Get things up to comparable quality and you are looking at a much larger file size.

Fact of the matter is that h.264 is a great, widely accepted, and very efficient codec. It is in everything from internet streams to HD broadcasts to Blu Ray. If you want video on the internet that looks good and streams fast, Theora is NOT the way to go.

By reader1 on 3/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Impressive.
By Pirks on 3/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Impressive.
By SlickRoenick on 3/25/2010 1:15:21 PM , Rating: 5
Pot, meet Kettle.

RE: Impressive.
By crystal clear on 3/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Impressive.
By Pirks on 3/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Impressive.
By crystal clear on 3/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Impressive.
By rewards on 3/26/2010 4:17:05 PM , Rating: 2
I want to join the fun.

RE: Impressive.
By phenimation on 4/1/2010 8:04:59 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, i know. Apple defenders. Delivering the same old pizza.

If you really want to be accepted, go to a forum for mac-facists. Otherwise, please keep your zealotry under control.

Although i must say i will miss reader1 and his ludicrous comments.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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