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4.8.6 The video element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Embedded content.
If the element has a controls attribute: Interactive content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where embedded content is expected.
Content model:
If the element has a src attribute: zero or more track elements, then transparent, but with no media element descendants.
If the element does not have a src attribute: zero or more source elements, then zero or more track elements, then transparent, but with no media element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
src
crossorigin
poster
preload
autoplay
mediagroup
loop
muted
controls
width
height
DOM interface:
interface HTMLVideoElement : HTMLMediaElement {
           attribute unsigned long width;
           attribute unsigned long height;
  readonly attribute unsigned long videoWidth;
  readonly attribute unsigned long videoHeight;
           attribute DOMString poster;
};

A video element is used for playing videos or movies, and audio files with captions.

Content may be provided inside the video element. User agents should not show this content to the user; it is intended for older Web browsers which do not support video, so that legacy video plugins can be tried, or to show text to the users of these older browsers informing them of how to access the video contents.

In particular, this content is not intended to address accessibility concerns. To make video content accessible to the partially sighted, the blind, the hard-of-hearing, the deaf, and those with other physical or cognitive disabilities, a variety of features are available. Captions can be provided, either embedded in the video stream or as external files using the track element. Sign-language tracks can be provided, again either embedded in the video stream or by synchronizing multiple video elements using the mediagroup attribute or a MediaController object. Audio descriptions can be provided, either as a separate track embedded in the video stream, or a separate audio track in an audio element slaved to the same controller as the video element(s), or in text form using a caption file referenced using the track element and synthesized into speech by the user agent. WebVTT can also be used to provide chapter titles. For users who would rather not use a media element at all, transcripts or other textual alternatives can be provided by simply linking to them in the prose near the video element.

The video element is a media element whose media data is ostensibly video data, possibly with associated audio data.

The src, preload, autoplay, mediagroup, loop, muted, and controls attributes are the attributes common to all media elements.

The poster attribute gives the address of an image file that the user agent can show while no video data is available. The attribute, if present, must contain a valid non-empty URL potentially surrounded by spaces.

If the specified resource is to be used, then, when the element is created or when the poster attribute is set, changed, or removed, the user agent must run the following steps to determine the element's poster frame:

  1. If there is an existing instance of this algorithm running for this video element, abort that instance of this algorithm without changing the poster frame.

  2. If the poster attribute's value is the empty string or if the attribute is absent, then there is no poster frame; abort these steps.

  3. Resolve the poster attribute's value relative to the element. If this fails, then there is no poster frame; abort these steps.

  4. Fetch the resulting absolute URL, from the element's Document's origin. This must delay the load event of the element's document.

  5. If an image is thus obtained, the poster frame is that image. Otherwise, there is no poster frame.

The image given by the poster attribute, the poster frame, is intended to be a representative frame of the video (typically one of the first non-blank frames) that gives the user an idea of what the video is like.


When no video data is available (the element's readyState attribute is either HAVE_NOTHING, or HAVE_METADATA but no video data has yet been obtained at all, or the element's readyState attribute is any subsequent value but the media resource does not have a video channel), the video element represents the poster frame.

When a video element is paused and the current playback position is the first frame of video, the element represents the poster frame, unless a frame of video has already been shown, in which case the element represents the frame of video corresponding to the current playback position.

When a video element is paused at any other position, and the media resource has a video channel, the element represents the frame of video corresponding to the current playback position, or, if that is not yet available (e.g. because the video is seeking or buffering), the last frame of the video to have been rendered.

When a video element whose media resource has a video channel is potentially playing, it represents the frame of video at the continuously increasing "current" position. When the current playback position changes such that the last frame rendered is no longer the frame corresponding to the current playback position in the video, the new frame must be rendered. Similarly, any audio associated with the media resource must, if played, be played synchronized with the current playback position, at the element's effective media volume.

When a video element whose media resource has a video channel is neither potentially playing nor paused (e.g. when seeking or stalled), the element represents the last frame of the video to have been rendered.

Which frame in a video stream corresponds to a particular playback position is defined by the video stream's format.

The video element also represents any text track cues whose text track cue active flag is set and whose text track is in the showing or showing by default modes.

In addition to the above, the user agent may provide messages to the user (such as "buffering", "no video loaded", "error", or more detailed information) by overlaying text or icons on the video or other areas of the element's playback area, or in another appropriate manner.

User agents that cannot render the video may instead make the element represent a link to an external video playback utility or to the video data itself.

When a video element's media resource has a video channel, the element provides a paint source whose width is the media resource's intrinsic width, whose height is the media resource's intrinsic height, and whose appearance is the frame of video corresponding to the current playback position, if that is available, or else (e.g. when the video is seeking or buffering) its previous appearance, if any, or else (e.g. because the video is still loading the first frame) blackness.


video . videoWidth
video . videoHeight

These attributes return the intrinsic dimensions of the video, or zero if the dimensions are not known.

The intrinsic width and intrinsic height of the media resource are the dimensions of the resource in CSS pixels after taking into account the resource's dimensions, aspect ratio, clean aperture, resolution, and so forth, as defined for the format used by the resource. If an anamorphic format does not define how to apply the aspect ratio to the video data's dimensions to obtain the "correct" dimensions, then the user agent must apply the ratio by increasing one dimension and leaving the other unchanged.

The videoWidth IDL attribute must return the intrinsic width of the video in CSS pixels. The videoHeight IDL attribute must return the intrinsic height of the video in CSS pixels. If the element's readyState attribute is HAVE_NOTHING, then the attributes must return 0.

The video element supports dimension attributes.

In the absence of style rules to the contrary, video content should be rendered inside the element's playback area such that the video content is shown centered in the playback area at the largest possible size that fits completely within it, with the video content's aspect ratio being preserved. Thus, if the aspect ratio of the playback area does not match the aspect ratio of the video, the video will be shown letterboxed or pillarboxed. Areas of the element's playback area that do not contain the video represent nothing.

In user agents that implement CSS, the above requirement can be implemented by using the style rule suggested in the rendering section.

The intrinsic width of a video element's playback area is the intrinsic width of the video resource, if that is available; otherwise it is the intrinsic width of the poster frame, if that is available; otherwise it is 300 CSS pixels.

The intrinsic height of a video element's playback area is the intrinsic height of the video resource, if that is available; otherwise it is the intrinsic height of the poster frame, if that is available; otherwise it is 150 CSS pixels.


User agents should provide controls to enable or disable the display of closed captions, audio description tracks, and other additional data associated with the video stream, though such features should, again, not interfere with the page's normal rendering.

User agents may allow users to view the video content in manners more suitable to the user (e.g. full-screen or in an independent resizable window). As for the other user interface features, controls to enable this should not interfere with the page's normal rendering unless the user agent is exposing a user interface. In such an independent context, however, user agents may make full user interfaces visible, with, e.g., play, pause, seeking, and volume controls, even if the controls attribute is absent.

User agents may allow video playback to affect system features that could interfere with the user's experience; for example, user agents could disable screensavers while video playback is in progress.


The poster IDL attribute must reflect the poster content attribute.

This example shows how to detect when a video has failed to play correctly:

<script>
 function failed(e) {
   // video playback failed - show a message saying why
   switch (e.target.error.code) {
     case e.target.error.MEDIA_ERR_ABORTED:
       alert('You aborted the video playback.');
       break;
     case e.target.error.MEDIA_ERR_NETWORK:
       alert('A network error caused the video download to fail part-way.');
       break;
     case e.target.error.MEDIA_ERR_DECODE:
       alert('The video playback was aborted due to a corruption problem or because the video used features your browser did not support.');
       break;
     case e.target.error.MEDIA_ERR_SRC_NOT_SUPPORTED:
       alert('The video could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.');
       break;
     default:
       alert('An unknown error occurred.');
       break;
   }
 }
</script>
<p><video src="tgif.vid" autoplay controls onerror="failed(event)"></video></p>
<p><a href="tgif.vid">Download the video file</a>.</p>