Business & Finance

The era of third-party media plugins 

In this day and age, there is a profusion of capabilities supplied by contemporary web browsers, each of which comes with interesting interfaces and add-ons. These features include: The user has to be running the most recent version of their web browser in order to access HTML5 video and audio, sophisticated JavaScript, and cascading style sheets (CSS) styling.

These cutting-edge web browsers are an essential cog in the wheel that is the content delivery chain for video services, playing a role all the way from the developer of the material to the end user. Unlike mobile apps, over-the-top (OTT) players such as Netflix and Amazon Prime stream content through web browsers on computers and occasionally even on mobile devices. These web browsers use HTML5-based Video DRM technology to attract more end users. In 2017, a senior official at Netflix stated that approximately 15 percent of the company’s audience accessed Netflix’s video content collection using desktop computers. [1] It is reasonable to presume that these people accessed the Netflix content through their web browsers.

These browsers rely on encrypted media extensions (EME) to make it possible for the HTML5 video player to run streaming video services without the need for additional third-party media plugins such as Adobe Flash Player, Java, QuickTime Player, or Microsoft Silverlight. These plugins are required by other browsers to play streaming video.

The user’s ability to promptly refresh their browser is, however, the single most important factor in determining whether or not they have a smooth viewing experience or a video that is interrupted at random intervals.

The Practice of Bringing Web Browsers Up to Date

The very best web browsers and progressive web apps support video and audio codecs for HTML5 straight out of the box. These browsers come with attractive interfaces and built-in packages, and their resource consumption has been enhanced. Additionally, their cache logic can boost surfing speed. The ecosystem of plugins that is supported by modern browsers makes it possible for users to enhance playback and modify it.

When it comes to browsing websites with video content, Chrome is one of the quickest browsers available. Chrome is compatible with the industry’s leading video streaming services. Up until December 2015, older versions of Firefox required a plugin called Silverlight to view Netflix videos. Since then, it has evolved to become simpler and easier to understand for viewers. On the other hand, this user-friendliness would not have been possible if users did not regularly update their browser. Even if Firefox’s departure from Silverlight was a significant update, both users and over-the-top (OTT) players need to be aware of the benefits that come with improvements of this kind.

The auto-update tools offered by Chrome and Firefox are designed to make things easier for users. These features are enabled automatically on Windows operating systems, but users also have the option to manually check for available updates. On the other hand, the most recent updates for browsers like Safari and Internet Explorer are already incorporated into those programmes’ most recent stable releases. Users are encouraged to maintain a consistent update schedule for Windows, as this is an integral part of the Windows system updates. Users should make it a habit to instal the newest Windows updates from Microsoft on a consistent basis in order to ensure that they have access to the most recent version of Internet Explorer. The Microsoft Edge web browser and all of its latest updates are bundled together in Windows 10, which comes with the operating system. It is compatible with each and every video and audio codec that HTML5 has to offer. It bears repeating that in order to keep Windows and its Edge browser up to date, periodic updates of Windows are required. Likewise, the majority of Linux distributions include browser updates that may be accessed through the repositories and personal package archives that are managed by open-source communities.

The vast majority of websites, including the OTT players that enable content streaming in browsers, have transitioned to using HTML5 players, such as Video.js, Shaka, Plyr, and MediaElement.js, amongst others, to provide their video and audio content. Despite the fact that HTML5 standards make it simple to add media files by merely adding ‘video’ and ‘audio’ tags, as opposed to ’embed’ and ‘object’ tags, which were the case previously and were more difficult to style, OTT players prefer to use media source extensions (MSEs) with HTML and JavaScript. These extensions allow for easier customization of the look of the media. MSEs make it possible to incorporate a MediaSource object into JavaScript. This object includes a URL to the video content being used.

Using this strategy, OTT players are able to provide users with a smooth video-viewing experience without requiring users to download any third-party plugins (More on How HTML5 solves the video player riddle for OTT platforms in web browsers). Users of a video-streaming website are only required to meet one requirement: they must use an up-to-date version of the web browser of their choosing.