Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In the pre-HTML5 stage. We need a plugin or video container to play movie on the web. But what is the HTML5 doing, how can it play the video without any plugin?

What is the magic behind the process?

share|improve this question

migrated from webapps.stackexchange.com Oct 15 '11 at 10:29

This question came from our site for power users of web applications.

closed as off topic by John Conde Oct 15 '11 at 13:43

Questions on Webmasters Stack Exchange are expected to relate to webmastering within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Current browsers have the functionality to play video in certain formats, without requiring an extra plugin and few years ago all browsers needed a plugin that had to be installed separately.

One of the reasons html5 video took so long was/is software patents. A browser can be downloaded freely, but to play a video the browser maker had to pay a patent fee to the patent holder.

Today there's new video formats that do not require patent licensing. Google's webm is probably the best free codec/format at the moment for the web.

The html5 video tag just tells the browser that there's a video there and points to the video codec or format used.

share|improve this answer