Print 36 comment(s) - last by Klinky1984.. on Dec 12 at 12:48 PM

Stage Video is key new feature of beta offering

Adobe has launched a new beta version of its Flash Player. The new version is 10.2 beta and it is available on Windows, Linux, and Mac computers right now on Adobe Labs. The new beta includes Stage Video which is a new API that has best in class video playback performance across platforms. The beta also has support for hardware acceleration in IE9.

Other new features include enhanced text rendering, native mouse cursors API along, and support for full screen playback with multiple monitors. Stage Video is one of the most important things in the new beta version and promises to allow websites to deliver smooth video to a number of different devices and access hardware acceleration for the entire video pipeline.

Adobe writes, "Working together with hardware vendors has helped us take advantage of the GPU to offload not only H.264 hardware decoding (introduced in Flash Player 10.1) but the rest of the video rendering pipeline, including color conversion, scaling, and blitting. How efficient is hardware acceleration in Flash Player 10.2 beta? Using Stage Video, we’ve seen laptops play smooth 1080p HD video with just over 0% CPU usage."

Stage video will work with all existing video viewed in Flash Player according to Adobe once the new API is used in the video player SWFs. Adobe notes that YouTube has already started to add early support for Stage Video. Using IE9, Adobe claims that some tests have shown up to 35% improvement in rendering performance. The final release of Flash Player 10.2 is expected for next year.

Adobe notes, "We’ve found the beta to be pretty stable and ready for broad testing, but keep in mind this is a pre-release version of Flash Player, so not everything will be fully baked. If you encounter any issues, please file a bug in our public database so we can investigate. We appreciate your help and feedback."

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RE: Finally
By Murst on 12/1/2010 11:07:19 AM , Rating: 2
I don't understand why you would NOT want someone to come up with a faster/better way to play video. Dumping everything on the processor is certainly not the ideal thing to do.

So we should stop all advancements in video decoding because you can work on something else while watching a full screen video?

BTW, what exactly do you think should be used for online video if not for Flash? Would it be Silverlight? Quicktime? Media Player? Or maybe HTML 5, which isn't even supported on the majority of PCs out there and has WORSE performance than Flash?

RE: Finally
By semo on 12/1/2010 12:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
you seem to disagree that multitasking while playing video is vital requirement for any video player (one of flash's main uses on the internet).
Do you not have more than one displays?

RE: Finally
By Murst on 12/1/2010 12:42:36 PM , Rating: 3
I'm using 2 monitors atm, although that's completely irrelevant.

I don't really consider the ability to view full screen video and the ability to work on another program at the same time a critical feature, but if that is something you require, the article states that it will be supported in the 10.2 update.

So either you're being sarcastic and making fun of improvements to the Flash player, or you didn't read the article.

RE: Finally
By semo on 12/1/2010 2:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
My argument that this is an essential feature for a video player and flash should have had it much earier (it's been around for years on standalone video players). I know flash is not a dedicated video player but we are all forced to use on the internet.

1 example where I need this is when I watch a youtube tutorial on how to use application X. I have X on one monitor and youtube playing on the other. I welcome the change but hate the fact I had to wait so long. It's not like there is an alternative (paid or free) so I think Adobe have a responsibility for keeping up to date. I think they are implenting these features now because more promising competition is cropping up.

If it wasn't for silverlight and HTML 5's development, Adobe would still be sitting on their hands.

RE: Finally
By Klinky1984 on 12/1/2010 5:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
Flash was slow as ass playing video when it did it all on the CPU and you still couldn't do full screen on a 2nd monitor with it. Even after adding hardware acceleration they still don't have it in any of their stable releases, unless you hack the .dll file.

Fullscreen, non-choppy, overlay based video has been available since the late 90s, sad that Flash is finally getting it's act together with such "cutting edge" features.

RE: Finally
By caqde on 12/1/2010 6:35:52 PM , Rating: 2
True if you are an application and not a plugin. None of the browsers were drawing to the screen using anything that would allow a plugin to use that capability so no plugin could use such capability. Quicktime and Mediaplayer are exceptions to this rule though as they aren't built like flash they call to an outside program to display a file. Flash uses the browser exclusively for all drawing calls.

Oh and Flash 10.1 (STABLE) has hardware acceleration. Just not to the level 10.2 is going to have. Maybe your hardware doesn't support it?

RE: Finally
By Klinky1984 on 12/10/2010 10:35:27 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure where you got your misinformation, but Flash doesn't exclusively use the browsers rendering/drawing engine. It is a plugin that could "break-out" just a much as QT or WMP could. The reason they kept everything software is because their rendering engine was entirely software based & it would have been hard to integrate effects from an overlay surface with their software rendering engine.

Now they did start offering hardware acceleration, which is not quite the same as what I was talking about. They accelerate the video decoding by doing it on the video card, however that stream is still sent back to Flash's software renderer which is why Intel Atom based systems with nVIDIA ION2 struggle when dealing with HD flash based content, because of the neutered bandwidth on the PCIe 1x connection that ION hooks up to. You also may see higher CPU usage when resizing video to something other than the native resolution of the stream because the resizing is being done by the CPU.

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