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When using Windows 7N and embedded videos for YouTube and the like my users have been getting a black box. I tracked this down to when HTML5 is being used for rendering. Other than putting a bunch of sites in compatibility mode or installing the Windows Media Pack (which resolves this issue) is there another route I can take?

My guess is it's only a single registry key or DLL that says 'I'm not HTML5 compatible' but I don't have any idea how to find it.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you have Adobe Flash installed but you do not have Windows Media Player installed, then it makes sense that HTML5 video won't play but Flash video will.

Windows 7 N exists solely for antitrust compliance purposes in certain European countries. Unless there is a specific prohibition against doing so in your environment, it would make the most sense to deploy Windows Media Player to all of these machines. Without the Media Feature Pack, you are running a non-standard installation of Windows.

It is entirely possible that installation of an alternate media player such as QuickTime or VLC may also enable playback of these videos in a browser, but this is not something that I have tested.

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I'm well aware of why N exists and how to install the media pack. thanks. I actually have it packaged and available for deployment. It should be possible however to state that my system isn't capable of supporting the h.264 codec or installing just the codec itself. – Tim Brigham Nov 30 '12 at 2:26
@TimBrigham Your web site has no way to know whether the user has the required codecs to play your video. Obviously the client's browser/OS knows, and it could tell the user, but obviously (again, probably for those same legal reasons) it doesn't. As the webmaster, this isn't really something you can solve except by user education. – Michael Hampton Nov 30 '12 at 2:37
@MichaelHampton - the issue isn't with my website. In this case the 7 boxes are on my network. The issue I'm facing is how handles certain embedded videos. – Tim Brigham Nov 30 '12 at 3:04
@TimBrigham The point remains, the webmaster can't do anything about whether you have codecs or not. It's the responsibility of your browser (or OS) to tell you that a codec is missing, and it seems clear that Windows N is failing to do so. If playing videos is something that your users need to be able to do, then you may as well just push the Media Pack out to them. – Michael Hampton Nov 30 '12 at 3:07
@MichaelHampton - that's what I'll most likely end up doing. I'm just surprised there isn't a ready way to state that these functions aren't available. – Tim Brigham Nov 30 '12 at 3:38

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