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August 28, 2010

Watch a Video in YouTube's HTML5 Player

In January, YouTube launched a player that used the HTML5 video tag. To try this player, you have to go to and enable the player. If you have a browser that supports the video tag and the YouTube video doesn't use captions, annotations and doesn't show ads, you'll be able to watch the video in YouTube's HTML5 player.

What if you want to switch to the HTML5 player for a single video or you want to link to the HTML5 version? YouTube has a special parameter that lets you do that: just append "&html5=True" to the video's address. Here's an example: (link)

For now, YouTube's HTML5 player works in Google Chrome (h.264; Chrome 6 adds support for WebM), Opera 10.6+ (WebM), Safari 4+ (h.264) and Firefox 4 (WebM).


  1. That's old :)

    You can now EMBED these videos to use html5.

  2. I can't wait for annotations to come to the html 5 player.

  3. Hey, fullscreen is now only within browser window. It doesn't stretch to monitor. :(


  4. @Anonymous (August 29, 2010 2:35 AM)
    Yeah, that is rather annoying.
    I don't know why they never extended the view to the entire screen.
    It'll probably come at some point.
    But considering how long they are saying HTML5 will take to mature, i'm doubtful...

  5. That's a browser issue, not YouTube's problem. The HTML5 spec recommends against adding this feature:

    "User agents should not provide a public API to cause videos to be shown full-screen. A script, combined with a carefully crafted video file, could trick the user into thinking a system-modal dialog had been shown, and prompt the user for a password. There is also the danger of "mere" annoyance, with pages launching full-screen videos when links are clicked or pages navigated. Instead, user-agent-specific interface features may be provided to easily allow the user to obtain a full-screen playback mode."

  6. Actually, the spec says that it's a bad idea to add an API for full-screen videos, but browsers should add this feature in the user interface. That means YouTube's full-screen button will never extended the view to the entire screen, but browsers can add a full-screen option in the context menu.

    Firefox 4 already has a full-screen option in the context menu and Chrome plans to add a similar feature. In Chrome, you can click on YouTube's full-screen button and then press F11.

  7. Full screen to browser window is a good thing. If you want total full screen, just do full screen inside html5 youtube then hit F11 or whatever key or menu item would put your browser in full screen mode.

  8. Some videos cannot be forced to html5:

  9. What's the status of this? It doesn't seem to work any more, or very often anyway, or very well.

  10. I'm using Chrome but videos never play in the HTML5 player. Stupid broken Youtube.

  11. I can't watch that one in HTML5 in Firefox on ARM: .

    I'm especially interested in HTML5 video playbacl because I'm using Ubuntu on ARM (Toshiba AC100), and there is no Adobe Flash player provided for ARM.

  12. Now you can watch YouTube HTML5 Videos in True Full screen , Here is how