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Adobe updates Flash with H.264 video

updated 02:20 pm EST, Tue December 4, 2007

Adobe Flash with H.264

Adobe today launched one of its most significant updates to its web tools for video creation and playback. Flash 9 Update 3 is the first public version of the player to support video in the H.264 format, significantly improving video quality. With a fast-enough connection, viewers can watch HD-quality clips in the same format used by many Blu-ray and HD DVD movies, Adobe boasts. Videos can also use the High Efficiency AAC standard to provide backing audio at higher quality without affecting bandwidth.

The feature is cross-platform and uses the computer's full hardware features to improve playback: multi-core processors and video card acceleration are automatically used as long as the viewer is using a mainstream operating system and web browser.

The update is available today for Mac OS X and Windows and is already being used by a handful of content providers, including the beta test for Hulu. The joint venture between NBC and News Corp is currently offering about ten trailers from Fox and Universal that use the new format to boost the resolution to 720p. Videos cannot be embedded at present, Hulu notes. The beta is currently invite-only and viewable only in the US.

H.264 videos already form the basis for YouTube clips when seen from an Apple TV or iPhone and are expected to replace the current format for Flash video on the standard YouTube website in the near future.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006


    H.264 and ACC

    Wow. That's 100% QuickTime Codec. A totally QuickTime wannabe.

  1. Commodus

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Feb 2002


    coffeetime: read up first

    H.264 is an industry standard (it's a subset of MPEG-4). The Zune can play it, Sony's Walkman players can play it, and many Mac and Windows programs can play it. This just puts it into Flash so you don't need to wonder whether you've got the necessary software to watch it on a website.

  1. zl9600

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Oct 2003


    how about on the iphone?

    that's the biggest missing portion on my phone: no flash.

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    One issue

    "uses the computer's full hardware features to improve playback," tells us we can thank we browsers for further crippling the work of a multi-tasker. At least we know now to veer away from sites like these when doing serious work.

    Except that now we'll see ads in these formats, perhaps, more horrifyingly distracting and annoying ads, and when researching products, services, or other databases, we can be sure to see firms that use more flash.

    Being in the architecture business, I see my fair share of overly-flash-based sites. Text that's too small to read, animations you're required to sit through to get any where, pages set up to read on the too small or too large resolution screens that either give you too much or too little on a page, not to mention anything but intuitive navigation controls.

    Such is the curse of technological advancement on the web. i could be wrong, at least I hope, for the good of us all.

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