What is HTML5

It is to play video in browser, using HTML5 video tag: <video src=”/my.mp4″ controls>

What’s under it: MSE Media Source Extension

Why MSE: JavaScript needs to call codec, which is native code. Another way to call into native is by ActiveX, such as Flash.

What’s on top: the web video players, such as JW Player. JW can also bypass video tag and call MSE, which explains why video tag cannot play HLS but JW can, in Chrome.

Interesting: my test says video tag can play HLS .m3u8 only on Edge, but cannot play .ts anywhere, which is weird. Since the vendor of the browser has total control, everything can happen.

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