Adobe Flash Software Goes HD
According to a report by the Associated Press, the Flash video player will soon support H.264 compression for playing back high resolution HD movies (H.264, or MPEG-4 is part of the mandatory BD and HD DVD spec video options). Adobe is debuting an alpha version of Flash Player
9, tentatively dubbed "Moviestar".
As with all upgrades, the proliferation of true HD content availability and sourcing will occur when both source content makes itself available and, as a result, enough users download the free plug-in software update to experience the content. The new version is expected this Fall.
Randall said the major networks, movie studios and
video-sharing sites have yet to announce any intention to run H.264 video,
though he said Adobe has been in talks with some and expects many will adopt it
quickly. As with most technological advances, look for private companies like Apple Computer, or others to push this forward rather than expecting much from movie studios.
H.264 will allow for incredible video quality, though the final determiner will be up to the bitrates utilized - which is always a factor of cost and the expected user base requirements.
It's a good solid step forward as the more ubiquitous HD is, the better the chances are that online and VOD downloads will proliferate through the marketplace - allowing HD content to be available in greater quantities than is currently available.