Adobe upgrades Flash player with improved HD support

Adobe has upgraded its popular Flash player with improved support for HD video playback. The latest beta version of the application reportedly facilitates “uncompromised” Web browsing of expressive applications, content and high definition (HD) videos across the desktop and devices.

“Flash Player 10.1 takes advantage of new media delivery options using HTTP streaming coupled with content protection powered by Flash Access 2.0,” Adobe explained in a statement.

“Additionally, Flash Player 10.1 now leverages hardware decoding of H.264 video on Windows PCs, netbooks and mobile devices where available, to conserve battery life and deliver an exceptional video playback experience.”

According to AMD, Flash 10.1 harnesses ATI Stream technology to accelerate video playback and reduce CPU utilization.

“Flash Player 10.1 targets the standard DXVA APIs in Windows to take advantage of available hardware acceleration from supported AMD products running the appropriate ATI Catalyst driver on Windows-based PCs,” said AMD spokesperson Rick Bergman. “[We] worked closely with Adobe to leverage the DirectX application programming interface and ATI Stream technology to decode H.264 video with the GPU.”

It should be noted that Adobe has also released a beta version of its AIR 2 platform, which allows developers to create feature-rich applications for the desktop. ??New AIR 2 features include enhanced support for mass storage devices and native application processes, as well as peer-to-peer and UDP networking.

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