updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon April 20, 2009
Flash on TVs, set-tops
Adobe has devised a new version of its Flash animation standard which should allow TVs and other electronics to stream content directly, according to an announcement. Called the Flash Platform for the Digital Home, the technology is now being licensed to OEMs and should ship in products scheduled for the second half of 2009. Some companies which have agreed to support the platform include Broadcom, Comcast, Disney, Intel, Netflix, Atlantic Records and the New York Times.
Aside from TVs, other devices slated to gain Flash streaming include Blu-ray drives and set-top boxes. Full use of the technology could radically alter the TV landscape, by allowing Flash video services direct competition with conventional broadcasters. Such services are typically only accessible on a TV through game consoles, or by directly attaching a Flash-capable computer.
Beyond sites like YouTube and Vimeo, the former of which is now offering movies and TV shows, the potential may exist to rebroadcast traditional TV content without cable or satellite providers intervening. Services such as Hulu could be supported, although the company's content providers have so far insisted on blocking TV access, as a result of worries about lost advertising revenue.