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HTML5 Video Formats and Codec

HTML5 video formats and codecs Download PDF

When web masters working with HTML5 video, the most important thing they may want or have to know is the video formats and codecs for HTML5. So what are the HTML5 video formats and codecs? As of now, the three HTML5 browser supported video codecs are:

  • MP4: MPEG 4 files with H264 video codec and AAC audio codec
  • WebM: WebM files with VP8 video codec and Vorbis audio codec
  • Ogg: Ogg files with Theora video codec and Vorbis audio codec

Before you choose the codec for HTML5, keep in mind only these three are compatible with HTML5 browsers, not Flash or any other formats or codecs. Now you understand the HTML5 video formats and codecs. But which one should I use when converting my videos, I have to make a choice anyway, right? Yes, it is true with most video encoders or video converters. Before you go to convert a video to another format, you will always be asked to make a selection between different codecs, formats or devices. The only exception is HTML5 Video Player, which is designed specially for HTML5 video conversion and embedding. It can encode your video into three HTML5 video formats supported by all latest web browsers at the same time. Ok, now let’s say you do not have HTML5 Video Player installed, then how to select HTML5 video codec(s) that would actually work with HTML5 browsers on almost all devices?

HTML5 video formats mp4 webm ogg

Unfortunately, no one codec would work with all the major players, so if you want your video to be seen by the largest group of people, you should consider converting it into at least two formats WebM and H.264. Bellow table shows the browser support for HTML5 video codecs:

HTML5 Video Formats Codecs





Internet Explorer















MP4 or H.264

3.0 9 7 X X 9 3 X X 5 5


2.3 9 7 3.6 3.6 Component required! X 10.63 10.63 X X


2.3 9 7 3.6 3.6 X X 10.63 10.63 X X

From the above HTML5 video codec support table, we can see that as long as you can have both mp4 and webm embedded, your website videos should be played on almost all the computers on Windows or Mac system, mobiles and tablets on Android and iOS.

However converting videos to HTML5 video formats could be a trouble for most of us, as not everyone are pros, we do not know how to encode a video, let alone encoding to different codecs for merely one video. You may be able to find many video converters or encoders to convert MP4 or H.264 Codec, however it can be very difficult to find tools to convert to ogg/Theora and WebM/ VP8. For a one-stop solution, we recommend you to try HTML5 Video Player by Socusoft, you can download HTML5 Video Player here.

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3 Responses to “HTML5 Video Formats and Codec”

  • says:

    Fantastic beat ! I can’t describe simply how much your website has reduced the problem during my academic research about them.

  • […] The specification with regard to HTML5 video is still young, you can still find some problems of it. The most apparent issue is its compatibility with different browsers and browser versions. It’s not supported very well by some browsers so far. See this article about: HTML5 Video Browser Compatibility. The full-screen capability, that is taken for granted in Flash, can’t be found with HTML5 video. The video codec and formats still kind of chaos, see: HTML5 Video Formats and Codec. […]

  • […] plugins such as Flash or Silverlight. Unfortunately the web ended up with proprietary video codecs, see HTML5 video formats and codec. The codec war has created a split in browser support for HTML5 video, see HTML5 Video Browser […]