CBS has begin testing delivery of video content through HTML 5 for Apple’s iPad, allowing the tests to be seen publicly ahead of the iPad’s launch. The network currently used Flash to deliver video on the Internet, but is, apparently, looking for ways to do so on Apple’s iPad, which is not going to support Flash any time soon, if ever.
TheOtherMacBlog.com first spotted the tests, and MacRumors then dug into the page that was displaying the information and found that clicking through to the videos in a normal browser returned Flash versions of the videos. Pulling up the videos through the iPhone SDK, however, returned the HTML tests, as did spoofing your browser’s User-Agent.
The HTML 5 videos didn’t actually work, however, and it’s clear that CBS has much more work to do on the project. Apple is releasing the iPad on April 3rd, and it’s not known if CBS is wanting to have its HTML 5 support in place in time for the launch.
What makes this very interesting is the fact that this is the first, and so far only, major network that seems concerned enough about delivering video content to iPad users enough to mess with their investment in Flash.
Apple has been disparaging Adobe’s Flash and has refused to support it on the iPhone and iPad. Instead, the company has been promoting the open HTML 5 standard as the rich content delivery vehicle of the future. The battle between Adobe and Apple is significant in that Adobe derives a lot of revenue from the sale of Flash development tools.