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Flash goes HD

Posted by Charles | August 21, 2007 .

image Flash goes HD Today Adobe announces that it is integrating a standard format for high definition video into the newest version of its immensely popular Flash video player. Flash players currently sit on 98 percent of all desktop computers and hundreds of millions of portable and handheld devices. Sites like YouTube, ABC.com and NBC.com favor Flash over competing players like Apple’s QuickTime and Microsoft’s Windows Media, since Flash is relatively easy to develop for and videos play directly in the browser.

The high-def standard that Adobe is embracing is called H.264. It is the same video format used in Blu-Ray and HD-DVD video players and the latest cable and satellite set-top boxes. Adobe will integrate support for H.264, and for the high-performance AAC audio standard, into the newest version of Flash, available for download today. But the changes will be gradually visible over the next year, as Flash video producers begin to encode their video in the higher quality format.

H.264 is an open standard and the result of an industry consortium. Apple added H.264 support to QuickTime two years ago and has been integrating it throughout its entire line of products this year. Microsoft has its own proprietary high-def standard, called Windows Media VC-9.

I think the good old big box TV set’s days are numbered.

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