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BBC right to stick with Flash, says Huggers

BBC future media and technology director Erik Huggers has defended the UK public broadcaster’s decision not to adopt the HTML5 standard for its online video services.

The BBC has a strategic partnership with Adobe for the use of its Flash player, which serves as the basis for the popular BBC iPlayer service.

“Our use of Flash is not a case of BBC favouritism, rather it currently happens to be the most efficient way to deliver a high quality experience to the broadest possible audience,” Huggers wrote in his online blog. “The fact is that there’s still a lot of work to be done on HTML5 before we can integrate it fully into our products. As things stand I have concerns about HTML5’s ability to deliver on the vision of a single open browser standard which goes beyond the whole debate around video playback.”

Huggers said the BBC was committed to the aims of HTML5 but warned that the standard was “starting to sail off-course” because of divisions over the course it should take.