HTML Video: A Comprehensive Guide

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of HTML video and provide you with the knowledge and techniques to harness its full potential. Whether you’re a web developer looking to enhance your websites or a content creator seeking to deliver compelling videos, this guide will equip you with the necessary skills to leverage HTML video effectively.

You will learn everything from video formats and codecs to player controls and accessibility, so you can start creating engaging video content for your website today.

HTML video is an essential component of modern web development. With the rise of video consumption on the internet, video has become an important aspect of web design, and HTML has made it easier than ever to embed and manipulate videos on a website.

Example Video

What is HTML Video?

HTML video is an essential element of the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) that allows you to embed videos directly into your webpages. It provides a standardized way to present and control video content, making it compatible across different browsers and devices. With HTML video, you can seamlessly integrate videos into your website without relying on external plugins or third-party software.

The HTML video tag is similar to other HTML tags, such as the image tag, but it includes additional attributes for controlling video playback.

Uses of HTML Video

The following are the uses of HTML video in your website:

  • One of the primary uses of HTML videos is to add visual interest to a website. Videos can be used for various purposes, such as showcasing product demos, providing instructional content, or adding entertainment value.
  • Videos have the ability to capture users’ attention and keep them engaged with a website, thereby increasing user retention and reducing bounce rates. This makes videos an effective tool for promoting user engagement.
  • HTML videos can enhance the user experience on a website in multiple ways. They can be used to provide additional context or information about a product or service, or to guide users through complex processes.
  • HTML videos can also be used to showcase products or services in action, allowing users to see how they work and what they can do. This can be especially useful for e-commerce websites.
  • Finally, videos can be a valuable tool for enhancing website accessibility, providing audio and visual content for users who may struggle with text-based content.

HTML <video> Tag

You can display a video in HTML by using the <video> element:


<!DOCTYPE html> <html> <body> <video width="420" height="280" controls> <source src="" type="video/mp4"> <source src="" type="video/ogg"> </source></source></video> </body> </html>

How HTML Video Works

HTML video works by using the HTML video tag to specify the source of the video file, as well as additional attributes to control the playback of the video.

Play, pause, and volume controls are added through the controls attribute.

In addition to the width and height attributes, it is always wise to include them. Without height and width, the video might flicker while loading.

You can supply other video files that the browser may select from by using the <source> element. The first format that the browser recognizes will be used.

When discussing HTML video, the text between the <video> and </video> tags will only be shown in browsers that support the <video> element.

HTML Video Attributes

The <video> tag has a number of attributes that can be used to customize the video player.

Here are some of the most commonly used attributes:

srcSpecifies the URL of the video file.
autoplaySpecifies that the video should start playing automatically when the page loads.
loopSpecifies that the video should play in a loop.
width and heightSpecifies the width and height of the video player.
controlsAdds playback controls to the video player.
mutedSpecifies that the video should play without sound.

HTML <video> loop

Using loop attribute will repeat the video automatically:


<!DOCTYPE html> <html><body><br><br><br><video width="220" height="180" controls loop><br><source src="" type="video/mp4"><br><source src="" type="video/ogg"><br>Your browser does not permit the video tag.<br></source></source></video><br><br> </body></html>

HTML <video> Set to Autoplay

Using the autoplay attribute will automatically play a video:


<!DOCTYPE html> <html><body><br><br><br><br><video width="220" height="180" controls><br><br><source src="" type="video/mp4"><br><br><source src="" type="video/ogg"><br><br>Your browser does not permit the video tag.<br><br></source></source></video><br><br> </body></html>
Note: In most cases, Chrome doesn’t support autoplay. Nevertheless, muted autoplay is always allowed.

In case you put muted after autoplay to make your video play by itself (but muted):


<!DOCTYPE html> <html><body><br><br><br><br><video width="220" height="180" controls><source src="" type="video/mp4"><br><br><source src="" type="video/ogg"><br><br>Your browser does not permit the video tag.<br><br></source></source></video><br><br><br> </body></html>

HTML <video> poster

Using the poster attribute an image can be included before the video starts playing or while it is downloading:


<!DOCTYPE html> <html><body><br><br><br><video width="220" height="180" poster="img_girl.jpg" controls loop><br><source src="" type="video/mp4"><br><source src="" type="video/ogg"><br>Your browser does not permit the video tag.<br></source></source></video><br><br> </body></html>

Browsers Compatibility

According to the table, the first browser version that fully accepts <video> is displayed.


HTML Video Formats

HTML video supports a number of different video formats. However, not all browsers support all video formats. To ensure that your video will play on all browsers, it is recommended to use multiple video formats.

Here are some of the most commonly used video formats:

OggThis is another open-source video format that is supported by most modern browsers.
WebMThis is an open-source video format that is supported by most modern browsers.
MP4This is the most widely supported video format and is recommended for use on all browsers.

To ensure that your videos are playable on all devices and browsers, it’s best to provide multiple formats.

Tip : To use multiple video formats, simply include multiple <source> tags inside the <video> tag.

The browser will automatically select the appropriate video format based on its capabilities.

Here’s an example of how to specify multiple video formats:

<source src="video.mp4" type="video/mp4">
<source src="video.webm" type="video/webm">
<source src="video.ogg" type="video/ogg">

Video Format Browser Compatibility

Below is a table for video format for browser compatibility:


HTML Video – Event, Property, and Method:

The HTML DOM’s <video> element defines its properties, methods, and events.

Video can be loaded, played, paused, and can modify duration and volume.

Additionally, you can receive notifications when a video begins playing, is paused, etc.

Example: Using JavaScript

Recommendation: Visit our HTML Audio/Video DOM Reference for a full DOM explanation.

HTML Video Best Practices

When using HTML video, there are a few best practices that you should follow to ensure that the video plays smoothly and efficiently:

  1. Use a video player that is optimized for HTML5.
  2. Compress the video file to reduce its size and improve loading times.
  3. Use multiple video formats to ensure that the video plays on all browsers.
  4. Include a poster image to display before the video starts playing.
  5. Provide alternative content (such as a text description) for users who are unable to view the video.

HTML Video Tags

<video>Specify a movie or video.
<source>Create multiple media resources for media elements. Examples include <video> and <audio>.
<track>Playing media tracks with text.

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