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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: heh
By priusone on 12/1/2010 11:53:35 AM , Rating: 2
I've only been using pocketpc and smartphone products since 2001, and in 9 years, Flash files and vids still skip on these devices. Sure, my Droid runs Flash better than any other mobile device I'm owned, and not that I agree with Jobs, but why can't Flash get their act together?

RE: heh
By Murst on 12/1/2010 12:45:51 PM , Rating: 5
They never really had any incentive to make flash better. Now that its being shown that Flash can in fact be replaced, they're working harder than ever.

Intel got lazy with the P4, and eventually came up with the C2D. Flash will either improve greatly, or fade away. Either way, consumers win.

RE: heh
By B3an on 12/4/2010 7:10:35 AM , Rating: 2
Thats not true at all. I've been using Flash since the 90's and it's one the web technologies that has improved the most. People like you say this because you hear others say it, you dont actually think for yourself or bother to learn anything about Flash.

Unlike HTML, Flash has progressed massively over the years and is nothing like the first versions. It's also on it's 3rd version of Action Script (it's coding language) where as HTML wont officially reach version 5 until 2012, yet HTML has been around since the 1970's.

In the Time HTML has been around, Flash has caught up and far surpassed it. HTML5 cant even do 10% of the things Flash can right now. Flash has gone from something that could only really do animations when it was released to a full blown application platform with a powerful coding language that is very similar to the C languages, and is capable of making apps, not just web content, for all major desktop/laptop OS's and phone OS's. It can do pretty much anything you want and has some of the best animation and design tools at your disposal.

RE: heh
By B3an on 12/4/2010 6:54:54 AM , Rating: 2
but why can't Flash get their act together?

I think the problem is more: Why do people like you lack so much common sense regarding Flash? and why is it so widespread?

First of all - animations and interactive content tend to use more CPU cycles than a simple static HTML page. Shocking isn't it??

Now try playing HTML5 animations on a smartphone - not only do they run at vastly lower frame rates then the flash alternative (there was even an article on here about this) but it also drains the battery faster as it's using more CPU.
Whats extremely funny about this is these are the reasons Apple are choosing not to use Flash on there iDevices, and instead use HTML5. Yet on Apples own site where they have HTML5 animation examples - they completely cripple the iPhone/iPad for even the most simple of things. Yet a mid-range lower powered Android phone could run these same animations in Flash at more than 5x the frame rate. You can see videos on youtube of HTML5 animations on Apple devices being compared to Flash on Android.

Adobe are constantly improving Flash's performance, the last 3 versions of the player have seen big improvements. But they can only do so much, it's down to devs like myself to make this content work better on phones, and most of us just dont intend it for phone use in the first place.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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