Adobe prepares Flash for high-def TV in the home

20 Apr 2009

Adobe has formed alliances with leading electronics and media giants, from Intel and Netflix to Disney and the New York Times, to bring its Flash platform to high-definition (HD) Blu-ray players and internet-enabled TVs.

The Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home is available immediately to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and the first devices and system-on-a-chip (SoC) platforms with support for the optimised Flash technology are expected to ship in the second half of 2009.

The aim is to see widespread use of Adobe’s Flash technology, which delivers HD video and rich applications to internet-connected televisions, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and other devices in the digital living room.

The company has forged alliances with major SoC vendors, OEMs, cable operators and content providers including Atlantic Records, Broadcom, Comcast, Disney Interactive Media Group, Intel, Netflix, STMicroelectronics, The New York Times Company, NXP Semiconductors, Sigma Designs.

The Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home now enables the delivery of HD web videos to digital home devices via the Flash Video (FLV) file format. The new platform means consumers will be able to enjoy rich, interactive viewing experiences and innovative new ways to engage with HD content on televisions.

Flash technology-based applications will allow users to quickly switch between television programming and web content outside the web browser.

With the optimised implementation of Flash technology, content providers are able to extend their reach to millions of connected digital home devices, and cable operators and device manufacturers are able to develop new services and powerful user interfaces that deliver immersive experiences.

“Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home will dramatically change the way we view content on televisions,” said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice-president, Platform Business Unit, Adobe.

Disney said it shares Adobe’s vision of extending HD video and rich, engaging experiences across multiple screens. “Adobe Flash Platform-based applications and services play an important role in delivering the latest Disney content via the web, mobile phones and other consumer electronics,” said Bud Albers, CTO and executive vice-president at Disney Interactive Media Group.

“As a leading innovator for media and entertainment, we are excited about the opportunities of Flash-based applications and services coming to televisions,” Albers said.

Intel’s general manager of the Digital Home Group, William Leszinske, said the electronics manufacturer has had a long history of collaboration and recently worked on the Intel Media Processor CE 31000, the first in a new family of purpose-built Intel SoCs for consumer electronics devices.

“As an active participant of the Open Screen Project, we recognise the value of extending rich, Flash-based internet content and applications to a broad range of devices in your pocket, on your lap, at the office and now in your living room.

“We are excited to integrate the optimised Flash runtime into digital home platforms featuring Intel’s SoC,” Leszinske said.

By John Kennedy