Computer Science M8

HTML5 Video

HTML Video Example. Courtesy of Big Buck Bunny.

Playing Videos in HTML

Before HTML5, a video could only be played in a browser with a plug-in (like flash).

The HTML5 <video> element specifies a standard way to embed a video in a web page.

Browser Support

The numbers in the table specify the first browser version that fully supports the <video> element.

<video> 4.0 9.0 3.5 4.0 10.5

The HTML <video> Element

To show a video in HTML, use the <video> element:


<video width="320" height="240" controls>
  <source src="movie.mp4" type="video/mp4">
  <source src="movie.ogg" type="video/ogg">
Your browser does not support the video tag.

How it Works

The controls attribute adds video controls, like play, pause, and volume.

It is a good idea to always include width and height attributes. If height and width are not set, the page might flicker while the video loads.

The <source> element allows you to specify alternative video files which the browser may choose from. The browser will use the first recognized format.

The text between the <video> and </video> tags will only be displayed in browsers that do not support the <video> element.

HTML <video> Autoplay

To start a video automatically use the autoplay attribute:


<video width="320" height="240" autoplay>
  <source src="movie.mp4" type="video/mp4">
  <source src="movie.ogg" type="video/ogg">
Your browser does not support the video tag.

The autoplay attribute does not work in mobile devices like iPad and iPhone.

HTML Video - Browser Support

In HTML5, there are 3 supported video formats: MP4, WebM, and Ogg.

The browser support for the different formats is:

Browser MP4 WebM Ogg
Internet Explorer YES NO NO
Safari YES NO NO
Opera YES (from Opera 25) YES YES

HTML Video - Media Types

File Format Media Type
MP4 video/mp4
WebM video/webm
Ogg video/ogg

HTML Video - Methods, Properties, and Events

HTML5 defines DOM methods, properties, and events for the <video> element.

This allows you to load, play, and pause videos, as well as setting duration and volume.

There are also DOM events that can notify you when a video begins to play, is paused, etc.

Example: Using JavaScript


Video courtesy of Big Buck Bunny.

For a full DOM reference, go to our HTML5 Audio/Video DOM Reference.

HTML5 Video Tags

Tag Description
<video> Defines a video or movie
<source> Defines multiple media resources for media elements, such as <video> and <audio>
<track> Defines text tracks in media players


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