So you want to use video on your website? Well there are a few options to consider and they all have their distinct advantages and disadvantages. The first thing that you need to understand is that the majority of people, those regular non-techie ones, use browsers that will need some form of plugin, or a new browser. Thus support for video on the NET can be divided into two broad categories:
- A plugin, usually in the form of Adobe’s Flash or Microsoft’s Silverlight
- Browser support, in the form of HTML 5
The first option utilizes some sort of proprietary plugin and both Flash and Silverlight have great development support. Adobe’s Flash is the dominant video-player plugin on the net, with Youtube being a prime example. Silverlight is the less dominant of the two but it also provides a rich set of development tools and is backed by some of the best tools Microsoft has to offer.
The second option you have is to use HTML 5, but the browser support for HTML 5 is limited to Safari, Chrome and Firefox 3.5. None of the Internet Explorer (6,7,8) support HTML 5, thus if you decide on this option you would have to convince your audience to get a better browser.