HTML5 has been gaining ground in the tug of war with Flash and finally, Youtube also has decided to abandon Flash.

Youtube had announced plans for using HTML5 player way back in 2009. Now that most browsers have become HTML5 compliant, Youtube is taking the big step - Making HTML5 player as the default player, although flash will be used if your browser can't play HTML5 video.

Sporting the same looks, it is less resource hungry than its Flash peer and on an average consumes nearly 30% less CPU. The HTML5 player also has new features like playback speed control and hiding annotations, but is available only if the video is played from and not for embedded videos in other sites.

Although under testing, you can also opt-in and take a test drive by going to Youtube HTML5 Trial site and click on "Join the HTML5 Trial" at the end of the page. Once you opt-in, Youtube will start using HTML5 player as default if your browser is supported.

Browsers supporting HTML5 videos:

  • Firefox 4+
  • Google Chrome 
  • Opera 10.6+ 
  • Apple Safari (h.264, version 4+)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 9

Additional Restrictions:

  • Videos with ads are not supported (they will play in the Flash player)
  • On Firefox and Opera, only videos with WebM transcodes will play in HTML5
  • If you've opted in to other testtube experiments, you may not get the HTML5 player (Feather version of YouTube is supported)

You can also force HTML5 for embedded videos on your blog or website by adding "HTML5=1" in the video URL -

<iframe src=""></iframe>

Here is a funny Youtube video where HTML5 is forced. So if your browser supports HTML5, you should see the new player in action. Can you spot the difference?