Sayonara Silverlight: How Panopto Switched to Flash and HTML5

An interesting story on Silverlight, Flash and HTML5 just appeared on By way of background, Panopto is a lecture and presentation capture and sharing platform used by leading academic institutions and Fortune 500 companies around the world. The company originally based their products around Silverlight, but had to change because Chrome will soon no longer load the Silverlight plug-in. 

Given all the hype around HTML5 and the Media Source Extensions (MSE) and Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH), you would have assumed that Panopto would use those technologies. Instead, it choose Flash and HTTP Live Streaming. In the interview, I asked the company president, Eric Burns, why they moved to Flash. He responded:

We knew we had to change platforms, and when we started down the HTML5/DASH path, we were excited about working with emerging W3C standards. Unfortunately, we quickly found a number of implementation gotchas and inconsistent support across browsers and platforms. So we took a step back and asked, “What technology will keep us in business?” We choose the one with the least technological risk.

It’s great to talk about standards in theory, but when Panopto had to make an existential decision, they went with Flash. MSE and DASH’s time is coming, but it’s not here yet. Click here for the rest of the interview. 

About Jan Ozer

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I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks and evaluate new encoders and codecs. I am a contributing editor to Streaming Media Magazine, writing about codecs and encoding tools. I have written multiple authoritative books on video encoding, including Video Encoding by the Numbers: Eliminate the Guesswork from your Streaming Video ( and Learn to Produce Video with FFmpeg: In Thirty Minutes or Less ( I have multiple courses relating to streaming media production, all available at I currently work as as a Senior Director in Marketing.

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