Yesterday afternoon the Adobe developers came out to release their first Adobe Flash Player 10.2 Beta for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms. This Flash Player releases introduces "Stage Video", which is their new API and method for accelerating Flash video content across all platforms, including Linux.
The Adobe Flash 10.2 Beta blog post details the changes to be found in this release, but the Stage Video support is the big feature. Adobe's Stage Video allows using hardware acceleration of the entire video pipeline, with just not the H.264 hardware decoding but also the video rendering pipeline, color conversion, scaling, and blitting. As said by Adobe's Tom Nguyen, "Using Stage Video, we've seen laptops play smooth 1080p HD video with just over 0% CPU usage."
Stage Video will also be supported on all Flash devices, including Google TV. Besides Adobe Stage Video, this proprietary Flash Player also brings text rendering enhancements, proper full-screen support in multi-monitor configurations, and native support for custom mouse cursors. Below is also a Flash video showing off the video performance improvements thanks to Stage Video that was announced during their MAX conference.
Unfortunately we haven't been able to find any Linux-specific information about this beta release, but the Linux version of the 10.2 beta can be downloaded from Adobe Labs. With this first beta release we also don't know to what extent Stage Video is running on Linux. We do know that Adobe is supporting Stage Video on Linux, but we are unaware of its specific support level in this particular version. Besides Stage Video using OpenGL for frame compositing on Linux, we do not know at this time (still waiting on word from our sources) how Stage Video is plugging into the Linux graphics drivers for the rest of the rendering process. Hopefully any changes needed to properly accelerate Flash video on Linux across the spectrum of open and closed-source GPU drivers will be minimal.
Proper video acceleration within the Flash Linux client is something we have been hinting at since learning Adobe was looking at different Linux video APIs and other implementations. Just this past Sunday I said "...The leading exception right now though is Adobe's Linux Flash Player, but better GPU acceleration support for Flash on Linux is on the way." [Just like the Linux Steam client, which has not been canned and is still on the way.]
Below is another Adobe-supplied sample video of their new technology.
For those interested in getting started with Adobe Stage Video, it's documented on this page (Linux is also mentioned on this page). When we learn more Linux-specific information on Adobe Flash Player 10.2 we will pass it along. Share in our forums your experiences using this newest beta release under your favorite distribution.