Twitch is upgrading its video player. Yesterday, the popular streaming service announced the first step towards moving from Flash to HTML5. Video player controls are now in HTM5 and Javascript.

The video stream itself is still in Flash, but Twitch plans to make the full transition to HTML5 soon.

“You’ll begin to see the new player on channel pages first. As previously mentioned, this is a gradual roll out. If you are not part of our initial pool of users, please be patient as we release the redesigned player at a steady pace,” Twitch writes in a blog post.

Here’s what the Flash controls look like.

Twitch flash controls

And the new HTML5 controls.

Twitch HTML5 controls

Twitch’s move to embracing HTML5 comes seven months after YouTube moved to the HTML5 standard.

When will Twitch move fully to HTML5? A Twitch staff member recently touched on the challenge facing them in comments on Reddit.

“The problem is that we do EVERYTHING in Flash right now, so we have to port every feature one-by-one into HTML/JS before we can release the player.”

To do this, Twitch is opting for a two release approach according to the staff member. Move the UI to HTML5/JS (which is being rolled out right now) and then move the video to HTML5.

No specific details have been released as far as the HTML5 video goes.

Twitch will want to get the new controls completely rolled out and tested before pushing HTML5 video to everyone. The Twitch staff member says they plan to release an alpha of the video player first. It wouldn’t surprise me if they rolled out HTML5 video on some of their bigger channels first to test before releasing it to the masses.

The move to HTML5 has been a long time coming for Twitch users. Flash is a notorious resource hog. According to Twitch, the current version of their HTML5 player uses just a third of the CPU and a tiny bit of the memory the current Flash-based player uses.

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