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Adobe turns on to Flash TVs

Skinning up another consumer end-point

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It's the user interface stupid! Adobe is working to bring its Flash web animation and video viewer to the living room via a new run-time system for HD TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and other connected living room devices.

This is all part of bringing Internet content into the TV viewing experience. The Adobe strategy is an embodiment of the view that for TV viewers the remote control is at the limit of user interface complexity, and the very last thing they want is to have the PC experience right there on the TV screen. That would mean having a keyboard on your lap and becoming au fait with either the Windows (are you serious?), the Mac OSX (better) or the Linux (yikes!) user interfaces. From the TV viewers' point of view the 'G' in the PC GUI stands for ghastly.

What Adobe is doing is to enable Internet-connected TV peripherals, or some HD TVs themselves, to receive web animation and video content and then play it on the TV through a simple pick-box-and-remote-control-click interface. It will mean, for example, that all the You Tube video catalogue can be seen on the TV instead of just the TV-encoded subset. TV viewers will also be able to use digital widgets, dinky little web applications, as well, all without having to endure enjoy the Internet browser experience.

Adobe has partnerships for its new Flash Platform for the Digital Home product with System on Chips (SoC) vendors, such as Intel, OEMs, cable operators and content providers including Atlantic Records, Broadcom, Comcast, Disney Interactive Media Group, Intel, Netflix, STMicroelectronics, The New York Times Company, NXP Semiconductors, Sigma Designs, and others, as it extends the reach of its Flash platform and so builds momentum to deny Microsoft's competing SilverLight technology market room.

Flash is already available for smart phones and as well as for web browsers.

The new flash runtime is available immediately to OEMs, with the first devices and SoC platforms supporting this TV-optimised Flash technology expected to ship in the second half of the year. ®

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