Published: August 13, 2010 10.42 Europe/London

The BBC’s director of Future Media & Technology has defended the use of Flash in the BBC iPlayer and on the corporation’s website, arguing that there is still considerable work that needs to be done on rival HTML5.

Writing on the BBC Internet Blog, Erik Huggers said Flash remained the most efficient way to deliver audiences a high quality experience. “As things stand I have concerns about HTML5′s ability to deliver on the vision of a single open browser standard which goes beyond the whole debate around video playback”.

HTML5 is favoured by Apple, and others, who believe the standard’s video properties are capable of delivering an alternative to the Adobe Flash. The latest draft was posted only yesterday by W3C.

Huggers wrote the BBC was committed to the aims of HTML5, which in combination with CSS3 and Javascript represented a way forward for the web. He said the promise of HTML5 to allow new online products to be created with the promise they would work right the way across the web meant savings in both development and operational costs.

However, he warned that the emergence of proprietary HTML5 implementations threatened to undermine the promise. “The tension between individual motivation and collective consensus has brought an end to many noble causes in the past, and here, the pace of progress appears to be slowing on bringing HTML5 to a ratified state.”

Huggers called on the W3C and HTML5 Working Group to work together with browser vendors to develop a single HTML5.