Try as it might, Adobe can't get its Flash streaming video format on the iPhone, but you may be seeing it on your TV soon. This week the media software company announced its push into the living room, citing partners like Comcast and Intel that are slated to introduce compatible hardware in the second half of this year.
The Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home is designed to deliver HD-quality videos to set-top boxes and widgetized HDTVs, though it's unclear that the quality of the viral YouTube videos everybody loves will look any better on a 42-inch screen. The platform will work outside a dedicated Web browser, while still offering, according to Adobe, "rich, interactive viewing experiences and amazing new ways to engage with HD content on televisions." I'm not really sure what would qualify as an "amazing" new way to engage with my TV content, so if you have any great ideas, feel free to leave them in our TalkBack section.
Flash has felt a little heat from Microsoft's Silverlight, an alternative streaming video format that has gained some traction, though nowhere near the market penetration that Adobe's product possesses. The company is trying to capitalize on its near ubiquity on PCs to fight Silverlight off in the home theater. What's not certain is how quickly TV viewers will adapt to watching HD content from the Internet, when so much is being made of still getting HD content (often TV programming) onto the Internet. Will there be enough Flash video that people will have to watch on their sets instead of their computers that they couldn't get from watching their channel lineup or the increasing amount of content available on demand? Of course, eventually computer and TV functions will more seamlessly merge, so Adobe and its partners have to start somewhere. It will be interesting to see how quickly consumers will push that marriage along—not charging a huge premium for the functionality and adding network connectivity that's Wi-Fi based would be a good start.
[Via the New York Times]