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BBC invests resources in HTML5

The BBC has announced plans to put extra resources behind its support for HTML5.

In a blog post, George Wright, head of prototyping, BBC Research and Development, said the corporation is appointing a senior technologist for internet standards, who will work in the Future Media & Technology’s R&D team. The announcement comes as the BBC faces criticism for its support of Flash for its online video sites, including iPlayer. Earlier this month, BBC future media and technology director Erik Huggers defended the UK public broadcaster’s decision not to adopt the HTML5 standard for its online video services.  “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.”

Referencing Huggers comments, Wright said the new appointment would ideally “draw on their existing experience and knowledge of the cutting edge of web technologies and internet services, while working closely with colleagues inside and outside the BBC to feed through production area’s perspectives.” The person will represent the BBC on various standards bodies as well as create experimental interfaces, which address some of the issues Huggers mentioned with current standards and guidelines, Wright said.