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HTML5 best bet for TV operators

HTML5-based applications are the most credible way to pay-TV operators to launch profitable, multi-screen internet video services, according to IHS Screen Digest.

In a new report, called Unlocking and Securing Multiscreen’s Monetisation Potential, the research firm said that while delivering IP-video TV screens represents “a clear monetisation opportunity,” operators have to date struggled to justify the cost of writing code, testing apps and optimising interfaces for different electronics devices.

“The HTML5 specification represents operators’ best hope for mitigating these externalities,” said Screen Digest TV tech analyst Merrick Kingston.

“Given that HTML5 is now supported across many software platforms and browsers, operators can address a very broad set of devices by developing a single codebase in the backend.”

One of current drawbacks that the technology currently has is that HTML5 does not natively include support for DRM and that few exclusively HTML5-based video services exist today, said Merrick.

However, he claims that HTML’s future prominence is already being hinted at. ABC uses the technology to implement its online player across PC and iOS devices, and YouTube started trialling an HTML5-based version of its service on an opt-in basis in 2010.