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Adobe Puts ‘Flash’ into Blu-ray Players

20 Apr, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Blu-ray Disc

Adobe Systems April 20 said it would begin marketing its proprietary Flash video technology to third-party manufacturers of Blu-ray Disc players, digital set-top boxes and Web-enabled televisions.

Distribution of entertainment through Internet-connected devices in the home is considered an evolutionary next step to packaged media.

San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe announced the Flash platform at the National Association of Broadcasters annual confab in Las Vegas.

The technology enables delivery of high-definition videos from the Internet to digital home devices via a proprietary Flash video (FLV) file format. Flash technology-based applications would allow users to quickly switch between television programming and Web content outside the Web browser.

In addition, content providers with the Flash platform could more easily reach connected digital home devices, allowing cable operators and device manufacturers to develop new services and user interfaces that deliver immersive experiences.

Initial content providers include Atlantic Records, Broadcom, Comcast, Disney Interactive Media Group, Intel, Netflix, STMicroelectronics, and The New York Times.

“Consumers are looking to access their favorite Flash technology-based videos, applications, services and other rich Web content across screens,” said David Wadhwani, VP, general manager, platform business unit at Adobe. “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.”

The new technology will be made available immediately to OEMs, and the first devices are expected to ship in the second half of 2009.

“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,” said Bill Holmes, VP of business development at Netflix.

Independent analyst Rob Enderle said Adobe’s strategy is to maintain Flash’s dominant status beyond the Web while at the same time narrowing the gap between the Internet and the TV.

He said expect to see consumer electronics manufacturers rolling out increased numbers of high-end Internet–enabled devices in the fourth quarter.

“On most high-end products, this [technology] will be pretty much standard,” Enderle said. “The belief is that this will move down market as we move into 2010.”


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