HD video support added in latest Flash version code-named “Moviestar”

August 21, 2007 at 20:54 Leave a comment

Flash logoToday Adobe Systems announced a beta version of its web-pervasive Flash Player, code-named “Moviestar” that can display HD video content using the open-source H.264 standard. The H.264 codec is part of the MPEG-4 video standard, and it’s implemented in both the Blu-ray and HD DVD high-def formats. The company also announced support for High Efficiency AAC audio and hardware-accelerated, multicore video playback. The beta will be available today at labs.adobe.com.

HD logo Adobe sees this enhancement to Flash as complementing its Premiere and After Effects content creation tools, as well as its upcoming AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) platform for deploying rich web applications. Another piece of the puzzle will be Adobe Media Player, which is sort of a desktop installed-software version of the browser-based Flash Player. The media player will give content creators their beloved DRM and the ability to display ads along with the video, along with TiVo-like functions for the viewer.


Adobe engineer Tinic Uro’s blog wanders deep into the technical details of the update


Will Adobe’s “Moviestar” make Silverlight Irrelevant ?


A lot of people have been giving a lot of oooh’s and aaah’s to Microsofts still beta/alpha Silverlight’s HD video features. While HD video in Silverlight is cool and all, it was only a matter of time before Adobe offered up their HD offering. According to News.com, an upcoming Flash player update code named “Moviestar” will bring high-definition video along with H.264 compression as well as HE-AAC version 2 audio.


The new Flash player will offer hardware-accelerated, full-screen video playback. Additionally, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch for Adobe to take advantage of the hardware-based H.264 decoder in the iPhone. If that’s the case, then one could argue that this is the Flash update that Apple will include in the next iPhone update.


This update is important to Adobe in their effort against Silverlight. Unlike Silverlight which only supports Windows Media specific codecs, Adobe have chosen an industry standard approach. And to date, Adobe’s cross-platform track record has been extremely good when compared to MS. Granted, Linux support still needs a little more work, but Flash 9 has been leaps and bounds better than before. So now with HD video and industry standard compression, what makes Silverlight anymore compelling than Flash?


Does the addition of H.264 mean Flash Player will support HD?


Yes, Flash Player supports 480p, 720p and 1080p content encoded with either On2 or H.264. Performance will vary depending on the capabilities and configuration of your machine. In general a 2.0 GHz Mac or a 3GHz PC, with one or more processors, will deliver an optimum experience.


Will Flash Player 9 Update 3 support non-FLV files?


Yes, with this update, Flash Player will also support MPEG-4 standard container files that contain video and audio data encoded using H.264/HE-AAC, including MP4, M4V, M4A, MOV, Mp4v, 3gp, 3g2.


So basically you can play full, hardware accelerated 1080p Quicktime videos inside of the updated Flash Player. Welcome to the next generation of web video.


Entry filed under: Technology.

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