Brussels / 1 & 2 February 2014


Interview with Michael Dale
HTML5 Video Part Deux: New Opportunities and New Challenges

Michael Dale will give a talk about HTML5 Video Part Deux: New Opportunities and New Challenges at FOSDEM 2014.
Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Michael Dale is a long time open video advocate and free media software developer. Michael is Director of Product for Kaltura, an open source video platform which is widely used in education, enterprise and with major media companies. You can learn more about Michael’s adventures in HTML5 video on LinkedIn or Twitter and more about Kaltura’s open source efforts on

Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

I followed the initial HTML5 video spec development very closely in working with Mozilla and the Wikimedia Foundation on early HTMlL5 video adoption. And then with Kaltura on commercial adoption of the HTML5 video standard as it was thrust into the mainstream by iOS not supporting Flash. I have waded through the Android fragmentation trenches and limitations of the initial video standard in comparison to what was available in Flash at the time. I became familiar with the opportunities and challenges faced with this “platform”. In this talk I hope to share some insights into traversing this terrain as we face the second wave of possibilities for video on the web. It’s important to explore how to bridge these platform gaps in order to realize the full potential of these new developments.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish by giving this talk? What do you expect?

I hope to highlight some examples of work we have done, both in terms of our technical approach, and how we go about product delivery per our automated cross platform testing etc. I hope to get feedback from other developers around opportunities to help realize projects that take advantage of these new HTML5 features and their approaches to similar problems. For example how we can bridge gaps in adaptive streaming support on Android while retaining an HTML5 runtime for analytics, monetization and branded look and feel. What options do we have to use WebRTC features across contemporary browsers.

Q: The first wave of HTML5 video solutions had some challenges, such as the codecs war, no consistent JavaScript API and lack of adaptive streaming support. What are the challenges the current HTML5 video solutions are facing?

Adaptive streaming in HTML5 is still a real challenge, and there are still lots of constraints on what is possible in web views, relative to the evolving capabilities of devices and native APIs. For example, many devices have front facing cameras, but web based WebRTC based video conferencing is only possible on a limited set of devices. The same codec challenges of progressive video delivery in the first wave of HTMl5 video have extended into realtime video space.

Q: Could you explain how the Kaltura project fits into the open source ecosystem? For instance, which other open source projects does it use?

Kaltura is a large integrated collection of APIs and software projects for video services. Kaltura builds on many open source projects. On the server it runs on a standard LAMP stack and uses Sphinx for full text search and ffmpeg for video transcoding. On the client player it builds on jQuery, MediaWiki resource loader, and many other projects. Kaltura comes in several editions: a SaaS platform that Kaltura hosts, an on premises version which is hosted by the institution with paid Kaltura support, and the community edition which is the Kaltura free and open source version, that is openly developed on github. You can see many of our open source projects on our github page.

Q: Could you give some examples of websites that are using Kaltura Player to play HTML5 video?

Hundreds of thousands of websites use Kaltura’s video platform. Videos you play on Wikimedia will make use of the Kaltura player, Media companies like ABC, Disney, HBO, Warner Brothers, Times of India make use of Kaltura, many universities like Yale, Stanford, Princeton and NYU create “Campus Tubes” using Kaltura and finally enterprise customers such as Groupon, SAP, Accenture, and IKEA use it for internal and external video communications.

Q: What developments can we expect in 2014 in HTML5 video?

I recently wrote up a short list of predictions for rapidtvnews so I will borrow from that. Basically 2014 promises to finally have desktop lead with HTML5 on some browsers, HTML5 video on larger screens, and more accessible over the top (OTT) distribution. Devices like Chromecast and associated protocols provide a new foundations for big screen HTML5 and, in turn open up the living room to an even wider pool of content then the initial phases of OTT that were more dependent on native code development and app store discovery. These devices and p2p protocols will also facilitate more seamless interaction with other devices in the same space helping socialize large screen TV spaces.

Q: Have you enjoyed previous FOSDEM editions?

2014 Will be the first time I have attended a FOSDEM. I have enjoyed previous coverage and looking forward to attending FOSDEM this year.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License

This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Belgium License.