Adobe Flash Platform for HDTVs gets hardware, content

Apr 20, 2009
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Adobe have announced hardware and content partners who will adopt the Adobe Flash Platform on internet-connected HDTVs and set-top boxes.  Demonstrating a range of widget and HD streaming media capable devices at the National Association of Broadcasters Show this week, Broadcom, Comcast, Intel, Netflix, NXP Semiconductors and others have all signed up for the platform.

 

At a basic level, the Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home (to give it its full title) will allow users to stream flash video files through media devices that have internet connections, without requiring a traditional browser.  Both standard and high definition content will be supported, together with applications such as media-themed games or interactive tools. 

Since Flash can also be found on mobile devices, desktops and other consumer electronics, Adobe are positioning Flash for the Digital Home as more flexible and consistent than home-grown internet media players found on some HDTVs and Blu-ray players.  Netflix, Disney, Atlantic Records and the New York Times are all promising content via the Adobe system. 

Press Release:

Adobe Extends Flash Platform to Digital Home

Silicon, OEM, Cable and Content Partners Embrace Adobe Flash Platform for Televisions, Set-Top Boxes and Blu-Ray Players

SAN JOSE, Calif. & LAS VEGAS --(Business Wire)-- Apr 20, 2009 At the 2009 NAB Show, Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the extension of the Adobe® Flash® Platform to connected digital home devices with an optimized implementation of Flash technology that delivers high definition (HD) video and rich applications to Internet-connected televisions, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and other devices in the digital living room. Major System on Chips (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, and others announced support for the optimized Flash technology today. The Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home is available immediately to OEMs and the first devices and SoC platforms with support for the optimized Flash technology are expected to ship in the second half of 2009.

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. Consumers will be able to enjoy rich, interactive viewing experiences and amazing 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 optimized 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. A preview of Adobe Flash technology for digital home devices is being shown in the Adobe booth (SL3320, South Hall) and during Adobe’s NAB Super Session today.

“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 at Adobe. “Consumers are looking to access their favorite Flash technology-based videos, applications, services and other rich Web content across screens. We are looking forward to working with partners to create these new experiences and deliver content consistently across devices whether consumers view it on their desktop, mobile phone or television.”

Key industry partners also announced support for the optimized Flash technology for digital home devices:

“Comcast is constantly working to deliver richer user interfaces and services to our customers,” said Labeeb Ismail, vice president, Technology at Comcast. “As an active participant of the Open Screen Project, we are working closely with Adobe to integrate the optimized Flash runtime with tru2way technology, enabling a new range of engaging, interactive services to consumers.”

“As a new contributor to the Open Screen Project, Disney shares Adobe’s vision of extending HD video and rich, engaging experiences across multiple screens,” said Bud Albers, CTO and executive vice president at Disney Interactive Media Group. “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. As a leading innovator for media and entertainment, we are excited about the opportunities of Flash based applications and services coming to televisions.”

“Intel and Adobe have a long history of collaboration and have worked together to optimize Flash technology for the digital home on the Intel® Media Processor CE 3100, the first in a new family of purpose-built Intel System-on-Chips (SoCs) for CE devices,” said William O. Leszinske Jr., general manager of Intel’s Digital Home Group. “As an active participant of the Open Screen Project, we recognize 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 optimized Flash runtime into digital home platforms featuring Intel’s SoC, such as advanced set-top boxes, high-definition digital televisions, Blu-ray Disc players and other connected AV devices.”

“As the world’s leading online movie rental service, Netflix always seeks new ways for subscribers to find and enjoy the movies they’ll love,” said Bill Holmes, vice president of Business Development at Netflix. “Adobe’s Flash Platform for the Digital Home offers great promise as Netflix continues its expansion directly to the television with our consumer electronics partners.”

“The New York Times is pleased to work with Adobe on the Open Screen Project,” said Michael Zimbalist, vice president of Research and Development Operations at The New York Times Company. “The extension of Flash technology to digital home devices is an important step in delivering applications consistently across screens and will help the Times Company better deliver our high quality news, information and multimedia to the digital living room.”

“Sigma Designs has long recognized that IPTV is the future, and has been a constant innovator of SoC solutions for IP-connected set top boxes and Blu-ray players,” said Ken Lowe, vice president for Business Development and Strategic Marketing at Sigma Designs. “Consumers clearly want to access Flash based HD videos and other rich Web content on their televisions. We are working closely with Adobe to integrate the optimized Flash runtime into our SoC solutions to enable a better, more interactive user experience on connected digital home devices.”

Delivering Flash technology to the digital home builds on the vision of the Open Screen Project, a broad industry initiative to deliver a consistent runtime environment across devices. Announced in May 2008, the initiative is dedicated to enabling Web content and standalone applications across televisions, desktops, mobile devices and other consumer electronics that take advantage of capabilities of the Adobe Flash Platform. For more information, visit www.openscreenproject.org.


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