When looking for an online video player for your website, you might hear the names YouTube and Vimeo before any else. That’s because these are quick, easy, and free options readily available to you. However, if you want more control over your video assets, how they are displayed and want to learn how users interact with your content and engage with it, you might need a private video player.
Flash-based players have become less popular now and HTML5 video players have become the new industry standard. For facilitating seamless integration on your website, we suggest the top online video players for you in this article. These media players offer an advanced marketing toolkit to you that helps you reach your business goals.
But, before we do that, let’s look at what an HTML5 video player does.
What is an HTML5 Video Player?
HTML5 online video players allow you to play videos directly in a web browser without the use of additional plugins. Some time ago, we installed a Flash player to stream videos. But, HTML5 video players offer an easy way to integrate native video players on your website. While you can still embed YouTube videos, here’s a more handy way to showcase videos to your visitors.
HTML5 video players only need you to use the video element. Set the width and height for the video size and control attributes to add functions such as play and pause or set up the video to play automatically.
Most sophisticated browsers now support HTML5, so online video playing is now more comfortable both on desktop and mobile screens.
Should you go with a propriety media player or one that’s open-source and free?
Open-Source HTML5 video player vs Propriety media player
Open source players offer some degree of advantage over those you need to purchase licenses from.
Open-source html5 video players are free for you to use. You can even evaluate and review their source code.
Propriety media players often come at a premium price. But you’d get a lot of options of features and integrations which would otherwise take considerable development cost on your end.
Popular open-source solutions tend to have fewer bugs and faster fixes because of the community support they come with.
For propriety solutions you can reach out to the team concerned and let them fix the problem for you. This is why before choosing a propriety solution you should check if they have a good customer support.
Open-source products have a high potential for customization. Almost everything you see is customizable, so the tool can be tailored to meet your unique needs. You get access to free and instant support from a global community of developers and enthusiasts who are more than happy to assist the users of their solution.
For propriety media players, you may not get much control over the customization as you’re buying the finished product. But these often come preloaded with features and themes which will make it much easier to tinker with.
With Open-source html5 video players you get proper documentation, wikis, newsgroups, email lists, and well as an option for a live chat whenever you face a glitch.
With propriety media players you get the support of the team you bought the services from. They’ll take care of your issues without the hassle of going through multiple documentation, videos, etc. This is ideal for people who are not tech-savvy or have low bandwidth.
Top 17 HTML5 Video Players
Next, let’s look at the top online video players that support HTML5 playback.
Other standout features can be introduced in VideoJS with the help of plugins. You can track Google Analytics ever right from the player, add your branding in the player controls, and introduce Chromecast support.
Vdocipher provides an HTML5 video player with the added advantage of DRM encryption security to secure videos and stops video piracy by preventing them from being downloaded/pirated. VdoCipher has used Dash as an open-source base to build the DRM encrypted playback in an online video player.
The player supports functionalities like Multiple quality options, Adaptive playback, Responsive design, Multi-lingual subtitles, Forward/Rewind options, various player themes in different colors.
With some added scripts, you can also add CTAs like buttons/forms, etc over the VdoCipher player. A free 30-day trial is available at vdocipher.com
Flowplayer is a free and easy to use alternative to convert FLV or MP4 videos to pages and posts. Along with MP4 movies, Flowplayer also provides protection on mobile devices. It helps in the automated checking of video encoding for logged-in administrators. You can apply branding at the end and the start of the videos. Moreover, users can enjoy unlimited instances on a single page.
A few other features include Google Analytics, Subtitles, Slow motion, Native fullscreen, Keyboard shortcuts, Random seeking, Retina ready, Cuepoints, and so on, without the use of expensive plugins. It also comes with video intelligence and video ads support, full support for Amazon S3 and other CDNs, Flash fallback, and high efficiency.
4. Projekktor online video player
The key features of this HTML5 video player are automatic detection of the best way to play your favorite video, its impressive and attractive aesthetics and user-friendly behavior, consistent performance and high reliability.
Projekktor library features also include pre-roll and post-roll ads, Flash fallback with RTMP support, playlist building, and true fullscreen.
You can seamlessly install a package for PHP to download all components and install the required files into the specific path for installation.
Features of jPlayer include easy installation, comprehensive documentation, extensible architecture and cross-browser support, plugins, custom skin options, and so on.
Plyr is a lightweight, simple, and customizable online video player. It offers support for HTML Vimeo and YouTube players. It is popular in both experts and beginners circles for its lightweight configuration that enables smooth processing for large video files. Plyr intuitively makes things easier with useful elements that help seamless project completion.
Features of Plyr include accessibility (offers full support for VTT captions and screen readers), a lightweight player that does not occupy a lot of space on the server, several customization options, responsiveness to fit any screen size, support for streaming and audio formats.
Afterglow is simple to integrate HTML5 video player with features that can be turned off, so you are not forced to use them. It is a configurable, self-integrating, open-source online video player that can be nicely recorded.
A few standout features of Afterglow are its cross-browser compatibility (works on all major browsers and devices and supports IE down to IE9), drop-in replacement, full responsiveness (fits into your design perfectly), and resolution switching capabilities (offers an easy way to serve your videos in HD and SD).
Another great thing about this online media player is a nice wizard that helps with direct integration. If you let them know where you want to host your videos, they will give you the steps containing scripts.
This is a jQuery plugin that enables you to use the video tag with a single H.264 file. If your online video player does not support HTML5, MediaElementJS will replace the player with a Fash or Silverlight-based one. Everyone can contribute to improving this product as it’s free and open-source.
It supports the more standard and desirable features such as standard play controls, fullscreen video display, skinning, and also has a plugin architecture to support unique features. These sophisticated features include auto-translation (with Google Translate), jump forward, skip back, looping, post-roll (showcasing custom HTML after a video ends), and virtual backlight that frames the video with matching colors taken from it during playback (a feature available only with HTML5 video player).
JW Player accommodated support for HTML5 video playback. The player is fully customizable with a wide range of features that enhance the accessibility of content and responsiveness of HTML5 videos.
JW Player offers a complete suite of HTML5 video controls. It is also compatible as an alternative to YouTube’s online video player. JW Player also supports a wide range of user-defined themes. Its plugins are consistent with the more popular CMS system, making it easier and quicker to integrate.
This online media player also boasts of sophisticated analytics features that allow users to see how well their video content is performing on the website, enabled password-protected sharing, schedule ads, create video gallery, and more. Other features include add-ons ranging from closed captioning to advertising tie-ups, social sharing options, and so on.
This is one of the earliest solutions for embedding HTML5 and Flash videos and is also simplistic in its feature set and usability. It comprises of a fundamental set of markups that use HTML5 and its capability to move to the next supported object if the current one fails. This means it uses the <video> element to enclose each HTML5 video container source.
11. Kaltura player
Kaltura HTML5 video player is a free and open-source online video player. It is used to create multiple customized inter-browser and inter-device skins to match or complement your site. Kaltura online video player also comes with a lot of player templates.
Features include multi-platform support, robust performance, and advertising and analytics capabilities (it supports several ad formats such as VAST 3.0 and integrated plugins for video ad networks, such as Tremor Video, AdapTV, Eye Wonder, Ad Tech, DoubleClick DFP, and so on).
Elite Video Player is a fully customizable online video player for WordPress that offers advertising support. The responsive HTML5 video player offers playback for platforms such as Vimeo, YouTube, Google Drive, and self-hosting videos (only mp4).
A few standout features of Elite Video Player include YouTube 360 VR and live streaming support, Google Drive and Open load videos, advertising with pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll ads, video ads, popup ads, and so on.
The responsiveness of this online video player makes it an instant choice for users accessing sites through their mobile devices.
Ultimate Video Player is another responsive audio and video player that supports Vimeo and YouTube videos. It needs an mp4 or mp3 format. The online video player can work on mobile devices as well as desktop regardless of the browser used.
Features of the Ultimate Video Player include encryption capabilities for video source or path to avoid users from seeing the source of the video, optimization for mobile devices and desktop, multiple video quality support and a video quality selector, password-protected videos, live streaming support, support for 360-degree or VR-based videos, subtitles selector, playback speed selector, branding options, and video download options.
As opposed to the other open-source and free HTML5 video players shared in this article, this one comes at a price of $49 for six-months support.
14. Elmedia Player
Elmedia online video player can play all kinds of videos. This Mac OS player can allow users to showcase videos from popular sites such as Dailymotion, Vimeo, Facebook, and more. Also, you can allow users to download these videos fro your website. Elmedia can play video in formats such as M4V, MKV, MP3, DAT, MOV, HTML5, and more.
Standout features of Elmedia HTML5 video player include an online video showcasing capabilities, support for hardware acceleration, capturing screenshots from the videos, SWF support, video downloading options, and capabilities to extract audio files from the video.
15. Chameleon HTML5 Video Player
Chameleon HTML5 player comes with a backup for Flash. Internet Explorer does not support the full-screen experience we are so used to. Also, in order to view HTML5 in IE, you might need to produce extra videos since the browser does not encourage the mp4 file sort.
Chameleon addresses these challenges through its instinctive Flash backup. Features include two skins to choose from, a custom right-click menu with an option to add a copyright link, social sharing options, responsiveness, retina display for MacBook Pro, and more.
This HTML5 video player is primarily aimed for use by enterprises and businesses. The player is optimized for best-in-class viewer experience and supports high-quality, high-resolution videos and adaptive streaming.
Cloudinary stands apart from these names for its functionality to offer video encoding, hosting service, and manipulation service for video assets. The transformations to the video that you choose happen at the player level, and on the fly. The player contains lightweight, user-friendly embed codes that allow for seamless integration of the HTML video player to an organization’s website.
Furthermore, Cloudinary’s built-in video analytics offer insights and actionable data on viewer engagement and interaction, besides video performance in terms of conversion rates.
This is one of the simplest online video players available with the ability to make creative videos on any website page using interactive and intuitive shortcut commands. Users can process their video assets with unique custom post settings and then distributed videos can be brought up at once using shortcut keys.
WordPress Video Gallery is a responsive and customizable tool as it facilitates the screen to shrink to manage mobile device displays. A few of its incredible features include preloading videos, managing gallery, controlling size variations, and setting initial image or thumbnail.
These online HTML video players are widely used over the Internet by various companies and individuals to embed videos on their site.
Integrating videos on your website gives your website and the page a unique appeal, enhances the quality of the content on your page, and offers a visual break from the text. You might want to use videos on your website to add to the content already offered, give your users an introduction about your offerings, or integrate customer feedback and review videos for added credibility.
Therefore, it is time you choose one of these popular HTML5 video payers to show awesome videos on your website and augment the value offered.
Supercharge Your Business with Videos
At VdoCipher we maintain the strongest content protection for videos. We also work extremely hard to deliver the best viewer experience. We'd love to hear from you, and help boost your video streaming business.
CEO, VdoCipher. Writes about video tech, ed tech and media tech.