YouTube begins HTML5 rollout

YouTube has begun rolling out support for HTML5 video, a spec that will let users view YouTube videos in most modern day browsers without Adobe's Flash.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn

As if the news about the upcoming video rental program weren't enough, YouTube on Wednesday announced that it's finally going live with support for HTML5 video.

HTML5 video is the Web standard that allows users of most modern-day browsers to play hosted videos in their browser without having to rely on Adobe's Flash player.

In order to use the new feature, users will need to opt in to the HTML5 program on TestTube, which is where the company houses a number of other experimental features.

The only browsers that are currently supported include Google Chrome, Apple's Safari, and Internet Explorer with the Chrome frame installed. Not included on the list are Opera or Mozilla's Firefox, despite the fact that recent versions of both browsers work with the HTML5 video spec.

Along with the browser limitations, watching YouTube videos in HTML5 mode requires that the videos being watched are free of ads, user-created captions and annotations.

Note: As of 6:22 p.m. PST, the feature does not yet appear to be functioning site-wide. A Google rep told CNET that the company's engineers were just beginning to push it out, and that it would be live on the site in the next "hour or two."

Related: HTML groups tackle Webcam support