Adobe puts Flash into STBs

By Julian Clover | April 20, 2009

Adobe has announced plans to extend the Adobe Flash Platform into televisions, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players. It is expected that the first devices with the runtime will commence shipment in the second half of 2009.

Anup Murarka, director technology strategy and partner development, Adobe, told Broadband TV News that he expected initial deployments to be within television displays. Sony, Philips, LG and Samsung are working on their own means to pull in direct content and Adobe is also positioning the availability of Flash as an enhancement to the entertainment services already in the home. “We’ve put a lot of effort into enabling video HD and playback. The unique element is bringing it from the internet, we don’t want to replace that content, but augment it.”

Flash will enable the delivery of user generated content, enabling access to the full YouTube library in H.264, rather than wait for it to be re-encoded. Widgets, the current US flavour of the month that bring in textual content from a variety of sources, are also supported.

Murarka said Adobe was not looking to restrict developer choices, but that within the STB envronment the Flash technology was capable of running faster and took up less memory than existing middlewares. He added that both NDS and OpenTV were already licensees of Flash and were looking to build in the technology to their own product.