Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kaltura and Partners Bringing Video to Wikipedia, Launch New Web Sites to Promote HTML5 Open Video Standard

Amidst the format wars being waged in the press, on the web and mobile devices – open video, and the HTML5 video standard, continue to gain traction in the market. Just this week, Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer 9 will support HTML5 and native playback of H.264 video within the next version of the browser. Both YouTube and Vimeo also recently announced support of HTML5, which enables publishers to serve video directly into compatible browsers without the need of an external plug-in, using the simple "video" tag. While H.264 is emerging as a possible encoding standard for online video, the Open Video Alliance is pushing the free and open video cdec Ogg Theora.

Open source video platform Kaltura, together with the Wikimedia Foundation, the Open Video Alliance and other partners, unveiled new initiatives to promote the HTML5 video standard, including two new websites – Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia  and Both sites serve as community and industry resources and have been launched as part of a mass campaign to bring video to Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation believes that two things need to change for video on the web: video needs to break out of the Flash container and it needs to be in a free format without paying licensing fees. Let's Get Video on Wikipedia provides simple instructions on how to convert and upload video to Wikipedia.

Kaltura launched as an industry resource for all things HTML5 video-related, including news, technology demos and more. In addition, Kaltura has released its HTML5 Media Library – already in use by Wikipedia – that works in all major browsers and includes a full set of HTML5 video tools – video and audio players, uploader and editor.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

In this video, Kaltura CEO and Chairman Ron Yekutiel discusses how Kaltura has been working with the Open Video Alliance and the Wikimedia Foundation to bring open video to Wikipedia.

According to Ron:
"One of the biggest or most important releases in our near future, is our project with Wikipedia, with the Foundation. Which would basically turn the largest encyclopedia today available on the web, from a simple text encyclopedia into a rich environment. We, using Kaltura and the Foundation will enable the mass peer-produced creation of rich media, similar to how it's produced today by way of text.

So where people can create today an entry in Wikipedia, each one contributing a sentence, or a comma, or a word – in the future, in the next few months to come, people will together be able to sit back and create video clips, slide shows, each one potentially contributing only a picture. Imagine an event like Hurricane Katrina hitting, with so people running around with Flip cameras being to contribute what they had just found, and somebody with the tutorial skills being able to put it together with all of the back monitoring and filtering processes of Wikipedia to make sure that the best of breed product is at the end. So this is one example and we're very excited about the Open Video Alliance.

And, I think that beyond letting the words of few be out there, it is about grabbing the pictures. You know they say that, a photo is worth a thousand words, and in 30 frames per second, what that means is that a video clip is worth a 30,000 words. So if you democratize one video clip, you've just democratized 30,000 words."
The goal of the open video movement is to democratize video through open standards, open source, and open content. Wikipedia is the biggest site yet to implement fully open video with no dependency on proprietary video codecs or any commercial vendor for video ingestion, transcoding, playback, annotation and editing.

Kaltura’s HTML5 video solution allows publishers to use HTML5 video today without having to worry about specific browser, format and codec support – with a fallback mechanism that serves up videos regardless of their browser, and format of the video. Wikimedia will be using the Kaltura HTML5 media library to enable rich collaborative video on the site. This includes use of the Kaltura video player, sequencer, client side transcoder, uploader and asset location system. Kaltura says that HTML5 video player will soon support all advanced video management capabilities, including analytics and monetization, making it commercially viable on devices like the iPhone and iPad that don't support Flash.

More details on the new initiatives:

Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia is a collaboration of three non-profit organizations – Miro, The Open Video Alliance and Mozilla Drumbeat – devoted to open video and free sharing of knowledge. Wikipedia video is powered by the Kaltura HTML5 media library.

Kaltura HTML5 Video Solution: Kaltura has developed a full HTML5 Video Library, and is in the process of fully integrating it into the Kaltura Open Source Online Video Platform that is already in use by more than 52,000 sites. Kaltura's HTML5 video solution - in use by Wikipedia - works in all major browsers by using a unique 'fallback' mechanism while maintaining a single look & feel. The player is easy to skin and extend with plugins and other add-ons. The media library also includes an audio player, media uploader tool and online video editor. Learn more and download the library: A new website dedicated to the topic of HTML5 video. The site includes live demos of HTML5 video players including the Kaltura HTML5 video solution, industry news and resources, an invitation to the community to get involved and more. See more at

About Kaltura
Kaltura provides the world's first Open Source Online Video Platform. Over 52,000 web publishers, service providers, and developers use Kaltura’s flexible platform to enhance their websites, web-services, and web-platforms with advanced customized video, photo and audio functionalities, including publishing, management, syndication, monetization and analysis, as well as content uploading and remixing. The free community-supported self-hosted software and source-code is available for download at A commercial version of the software can be obtained at along with Kaltura services such as streaming, hosting, transcoding, analytics, ad serving, support and maintenance packages, and professional development. Founded in 2006, New York-based Kaltura is also a founding member of the ‘Open Video Alliance’ (, a coalition of organizations dedicated to fostering open standards for online video.

Update 3/20/10 3:52 PM PT: Video transcript and Kaltura player added to post