Flash Player supports H.264 video

Flash Player supports H.264 video

Summary: Update: The bits are up and it looks like the Linux players have been updated as well.Note: The actual download is coming later today, just hold tight.


Update: The bits are up and it looks like the Linux players have been updated as well.

Note: The actual download is coming later today, just hold tight. Also, here is my no fluff response.

Flash Player supports H.264 videoWe're announcing a new update to the Flash Player today code named "Moviestar" and it includes support for the widely used industry standard H.264 codec as well as High Efficiency AAC audio support. The update will also be a part of Adobe AIR. Prior to joining Adobe I thought Silverlight had one upped Flash Video with it's VC-1 web video story. Then when I joined I saw how great competition is because I saw that Adobe wasn't standing still at all, but rather pushing the envelope and making sure users had what they wanted so Flash was the best web video experience possible. I had to bite my tongue when I saw the "Flash is dying" posts from the people who inferred a bit overzealously when YouTube announced support for H.264 and the iPhone. During all of this Adobe was working on the best possible solution for users and I'm excited that we're announcing it today.

What it means for users
We're going to be supporting hardware accelerated, multi-core enhanced full screen video playback and you'll be able to view any H.264 encoded video including MP4 and MOVThe biggest winners in all of this is the end user. H.264 has fantastic video quality and support in the Flash Player means that the most ubiquitous software in the world will be supporting arguably the most popular video standard out there. That means easy, HD-quality video for anyone who wants to watch it on the web. With this update we're going to be supporting hardware accelerated, multi-core enhanced full screen video playback and you'll be able to view any H.264 encoded video including MP4 and MOV. Not only will your video look better, it's going to perform better also. In short, Flash Video is going to be one of the absolute best video experiences you can have. I think this is going to help push video on the web into the HD generation.

What it means for content creators
This is also a big win for those of you who are creating all of this cool web content. You'll now be able to encode your video in an extremely open, widespread codec and have it run on almost every machine on the web. Flash Player 9 went from 0 to 84.3% penetration in a matter of 3 9 months. I think it's over 90% now which in 12 months is fantastic. Now that this update is available, you can start having your users upgrade which allows you to give them HD-quality video. You can also tap into the huge ecosystem around the H.264 codec. Our tools like Adobe Premier Pro and Adobe After Effects support H.264 encoding right now. Because Flash Player supports playback of any H.264 encoded video you can leverage both your existing video assets that you've encoded as well as the entire spectrum of tools and infrastructure that support H.264. It has never been easier to create video content for the Flash Player.

This is a great thing for web video. When you combine a great format like H.264 and a runtime like Flash good things are going to happen. I can't wait to see the web embrace HD-quality video.

More info:
Tinic has a great post
Scoble talks, which I really wanted to see
Dion Almaer
TechBizMedia Andy Plesser has an interview with Bill Joll from On2 about H.264

Topics: Enterprise Software, Browser

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  • Video Support


    this is great news, how about Flash Lite? It would be great to have some codec support for the mobile market too.


    • RE: Video Support

      Hey Jon,

      I don't know about Flash Lite. I'll ask around and see if we're talking publicly about it.

  • iPhone?

    Something about support for ACC and H.264 makes me think about the iPhone and Apple... :)

    Flash on the iPhone coming soon?
    • RE: iPhone?

      Sadly, I don't know anything. If I do, I'll be the first to post it!

  • Update across al platforms?

    Is it an update across all platforms?
  • Will Flash 7 support H.264? No? Sucks for Opera/Wii users...

    If YouTube started encoding everything in H.264, Wii users would be up the creak without the proverbial paddle.

    Please say thanks to Adobe for their helpful support in not bothering to release an SDK for anything better than Flash 7.
    • Yeah!

      No support either for Spyglass 1.5, THANKS ADOBE! Seriously, what rock of obscurity do you guys crawl out from under? The latest version of Flash is version 9, get with the program already.
  • Wow so does that mean?

    My nice new Nvidia 8600GT with hardware support for H.264 and MPEG, and VC-1 playback Nvidia card will be now be used for flash player playback of these video files?? If it does, that totally rocks..

    NVIDIA PureVideo? HD Technology2
    Dedicated on-chip video processor
    High-definition H.264, VC-1, MPEG2 and WMV9 decode acceleration
    Advanced spatial-temporal de-interlacing
    HDCP capable3
    Spatial-Temporal De-Interlacing
    Noise Reduction
    Edge Enhancement
    Bad Edit Correction
    Inverse telecine (2:2 and 3:2 pull-down correction)
    High-quality scaling
    Video color correction
    Microsoft? Video Mixing Renderer (VMR) support

    Does it support this?
    • RE: Wow so does that mean?

      Hey Don,

      Yes, that's my understanding. I don't think it supports the full range of features of your Nvidia card, but it does leverage the HD playback (H.264) as well as the high quality scaling. I'll ask about the others.

  • Delivery lock-in?

    Are you sure that both consumers and content owners are the winners here?
    Adobe locks content owners into their own Flash Media Server, since they
    deliberately use their proprietary RTMP delivery protocol instead of the official
    MPEG-4 RTSP protocol. There are great RTSP MPEG-4 servers on the market, but
    Adobe effectively locks them out. The whole idea of MPEG-4 is interoperability.
    Content owners are forced to use the much more expensive Flash Media Server.
    Limiting competition is always bad for the whole market chain, including end users.
    Adobe clearly doesn't understand the MPEG-4 business model. Adobe introduced
    MPEG-4 to cut on development costs for file formats and codecs, overcharges for a
    crappy proprietary RTMP server with lousy performance and will legally pursue
    companies that implement RTMP support in their servers. Bad way of doing
    business Adobe!
  • So how does the H.264 stream get wrapped?

    Hi Ryan,

    You mentioned that people can make use of pre-encoded H.264 content. So how does the H.264 stream get wrapped?

    Is there still a .flv container?

    Does the H.264 Video Elementary Stream get incorporated into a .swf file, or can I just reference that VES?

    Much H.264 content is packetised into an MPEG-2 transport stream container for distribution. How do I include that into the Flash format?
  • RE: Flash Player supports H.264 video

    How long until the Pornstar version is released?
  • RE: Flash Player supports H.264 video

    And here is the Java answer: www.onavia.com, Worlds
    1st h.264 Java Player.
  • Bad behaviour with RMTP stifles creativity.

    If an open standard was adopted there would be many more interesting and innovative uses of this technology on the web. I know its hard to believe, but FMS is not all things to all men. It is certainly not capable of serving the kind of rich media application enabled by h.264 that we have in mind, though Flash would now be an ideal target on the client side, and who knows, your other users may surprise you too!

    This bad behaviour will loose you the pioneers of new ideas and technology to other platforms, leaving Flash in a constant battle for second place.