On2 acquires Hantro Products helping Flash Video on devices

On2 announced yesterday that they've acquired Hantro Products, a company that specializes in providing video solutions to handset makers. It looks like a good move for On2 and could do a lot to help Flash Video penetrate more devices.

Disclosure: Last week I announced that I’m working for Adobe. While I haven’t officially started, consider me an Adobe employee for all intents and purposes. I have the disclosure statement at the bottom of the page, but I’ll probably run this for a while just to make sure there isn’t any confusion.

Yesterday On2, the company that powers the VP6 codec that is leveraged in Flash Video, announced the acquisition of Hantro Products. Hantro is based in Finland and specializes in video players for mobile devices. According to the press release, Hantro's customers include Nokia, Freescale, LSI, Vimicro, Sanyo, and others.

All of the various partnerships in the mobile world are still kind of a mystery to me, so I'm not fully certain of all the implications for the purchase. A quick look around Hantro's website seems to indicate that they have codecs, applications, and servers. The players they specialize in seem to focus on low power cost which is a must for mobile phones. They also seem to have a lot of HD codecs but I can't tell if those are running on devices or not. Some of their application solutions sound very promising including Mobile TV and the Player/Streamer.

So in theory, this means that the VP6 codec can run on 4 of the 5 major handset creators. The announcement of Flash Lite 3 was the first official word that Flash Video was coming to devices. With this purchase, It seems like On2 is in a position to work with Adobe to put Flash Video on even more devices and possibly work more closely with the handset creators themselves. Again, I'm not entirely sure I understand the ins and outs of this, but at first glance, it's good news for Flash Video on devices.

On2 has been very busy lately. They announced a browser-based live encoding and streaming solution recently. They are also working with Akamai to support their live streaming solution (Andy Plesser over at Beet.tv has some good coverage). Akamai was the company that powered the video for the Amgen Tour application a while back.