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: heh
By Klinky1984 on 12/1/2010 5:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
Really they should have had hardware acceleration setup when they first started implementing video in Flash. I am talking about basic overlay/blitting support. Nothing was more pitiful than Flash using your CPU to resize a 320x240 video up to 1920x1080.

RE: heh
By caqde on 12/1/2010 6:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
You can't implement hardware acceleration for video when the support didn't exist for them to implement in the first place back in 2000 - 2001 when they started implementing it (2002 release date for Macromedia Flash 6 back in the day), when you make a plugin your access to drawing is limited to your access to the hardware from the host application (Firefox, IE9, Safari, etc) so not only does Flash need to implement Hardware Acceleration so does the Browser which we are now seeing, oh and the OS since the Browser relies on that.

RE: heh
By Klinky1984 on 12/12/2010 12:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
Why are there so many people with misinformation? Flash is a plugin and can pretty much do whatever it wants, that's why you need to install it separately, it's it's own application that runs inside/along side the browser.

You're confusing different technologies. I am talking about hardware overlay rendering which is where the computer sends a bitmap stream to the video card and the video card uses it's internal scalers to resize to full screen video instead of having the CPU resize the bitmaps itself. What flash is talking about is hardware accelerated decoding of h.264/mpeg4 content, this is nothing to do with hardware scaling. Finally browsers are starting to implement hardware acceleration via DirectWrite to allow advanced compositing effects and lower CPU usage when rendering web pages/HTML5, again nothing to do with scaling or h.264 decoding.

The reason Flash didn't implement overlay surfaces is because the goal of the overlay surface is to lower bandwidth and cpu requirements when scaling video, having the video card scale and send it back probably wasn't that conducive to performance. However, it would have been nice if they could have implemented a way to "break-out" the video on to an overlay surface or switch to overlay when doing fullscreen.

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