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Red Carpet Interview: Jan Ozer, Streaming Learning Center

Sitting down with contributing Jan Ozer on the red carpet at Streaming Media West to review the highlights and key takeaways of the show, including live streaming using the cloud, the exploding market for live stream applications, the Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam, Livestream's Studio HD500, and the ongoing reality/perception divide on Flash and HTML5.

Flash vs. HTML5 and Perception vs. Reality

Jan: It was a high-energy show. It really seemed like the people who came through were interested and they were producing and they were wanting to do more producing, and the exhibitors were happy with the traffic. They always want more, but they thought that the people who showed up at the booths were very high-quality prospects. And I had a bunch of people who asked really piercing questions in my sessions.

Steve: Did get you rattled at all with the tough questions?

Jan: What's interesting to me is that I gave the same talk two weeks ago at Streaming Media Europe in London, particularly on producing for HTML5. With HTML5, we're not talking about encoding; we're talking about religion, right? Because Flash is "bad" and HTML5 is "good." And when you point out simple facts like, "Hey, only 66 percent of the browsers out there are HTML5-compatible, and then only 80 percent of those play H.264, and Mozilla still hasn't licensed H.264," people are like, "What?" They just get really riled about it. And I don't really have a fish to fry. But I want to work on the basis of facts. And the fact is, whether it's MPEG-DASH or whether it's HTML5, at this point if it's so good, why aren't CBS and CNN and FOX and ESPN using it? Why are they still using Flash? They're using HTML5 somewhat on the mobile side, but for desktops, it's still Flash. And don't tell me it's awful, don't tell me about the flaws. Show me people who are replacing Flash with HTML5. And it's just they're not doing it because it's not there yet.

Two-and-a-half years ago the iPad was introduced and Flash was dead, right? We all saw the headlines. It's really sad when perception's more important than reality. And the reality is, whether it's DASH or whether it's HTML5, it's just not being used. Not that Flash is this great technology. But it's used on the desktop, and it provides a superior experience to what you can get from HTML5. It's more pervasive than HTML5 and that's what people are using. And it just really stinks that two-and-a-half years after the iPad came out, the experience isn't the equivalent for an iPad as it is on a Flash-based desktop, yet people still say Flash is dead and it's a terrible technology.

Steve: All right. Well, thanks, Jan. It's been good to do this wrap-up and we're going to sign off now from the Red Carpet at Streaming Media West.

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