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Adobe Flash Player 10.2 offers improved hardware acceleration for Mac

post #1 of 52
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Adobe has publicly launched Flash Player 10.2 for Mac, Windows and Linux, an update to the Web plugin that introduces full hardware acceleration support for video which, when supported, is said to be up to 34 times more efficient.

Adobe claims that "Stage Video" offers "best-in-class, beautiful video across platforms and browsers." In addition, Flash Player 10.2, which is now available for download, has new features like custom native mouse cursors, multiple monitor full-screen support, Internet Explorer 9 hardware accelerated rendering support and enhanced sub-pixel rendering for superior text readability. Flash Player 10.2 was previously available in beta form.

Hardware acceleration for H.264 content first appeared on Flash Player for Mac with version 10.1, released in August of 2010. But content built for Stage video allows websites to take advantage of full hardware acceleration of all video.

According to Adobe, Stage Video will allow Flash Player to play high quality video while using "dramatically less processing power," offering better performance and longer battery life on mobile devices. Adobe said that its testing has found Stage Video to make Flash playback up to 34 times more efficient.

Put another way, Flash Player using Stage Video can effortlessly play beautiful 1080p HD video with just 1-15% CPU usage on a common Mac or Windows computer -- working across platforms and browsers, it will enable the best video experience for the most people," the company said. "Many millions of additional PCs, from netbooks to desktops, can now become slick HD home theaters on the web."

Even with the addition of Stage Video to Flash Player 10.2, users will likely not see any immediate changes, as websites and content providers must first update video players to support the new feature.

In a very public battle, Apple and Adobe have sparred over Flash, as the Mac and iPhone maker has argued that the Web plugin results in poor battery life and system crashes. Last year, Apple began shipping its Macs without Adobe Flash preinstalled, and it was discovered that the absence of Flash boosted battery life on the new MacBook Air by two hours.

For its part, Adobe has suggested that any performance issues with Flash on the Mac are a result of issues with Apple's Mac OS X operating system. With respect to the MacBook Air, Adobe said last November it is working on an optimized version of Flash for the thin-and-light notebook, but added that hardware acceleration offers superior performance and battery life.
post #2 of 52
OK got it ... now to test! If it works I will need a new toaster.
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post #3 of 52
it still blows.
post #4 of 52
Now to make real use of it, every Flash video out there needs redoing in the new format. Like .. I am going to hold my breath. Not.
post #5 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedxdesign View Post

it still blows.

I am no Flash lover but my MBP i7 just had several HD 1080p Flash videos playing at the same time and the fan did start up as usual but then slowed down! Normally it would have got into wind tunnel mode. So, in this brief test it is way better for me.

I note Adobe say it is 34 times better, so I am looking forward to hearing how all the pro Flash people here square that with 'it was always OS X's fault'? But for SJ reaming Adobe a new one this would never have even be worked on I suspect.
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post #6 of 52
.................................................. ...hopefully they keep on optimizing!!!!!

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All my life, I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific.
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post #7 of 52
The iPhone's lack of Flash support shone a spotlight on Flash's awful consumption of system resources.

Glad to see they finally responded 4 years later....
post #8 of 52
My prediction: Flash on iPad 2 (i.e., iOS 4.3).
post #9 of 52
Let's see what difference it makes. I'll be happy if it just stops giving me black screens for 5 seconds every time I maximise a Flash video!!

I installed ClickToFlash which blocks Flash and you just click on the window where it would be to let it through. I have REALLY noticed just how much Flash there is on the web, and for things that just do no need it at all. Definitely sped up my mac and increased Safari stability.

*** UPDATE ***

Wow I have to say this has massively increased the stability for me. The black screen hang has gone and HD content on the iPlayer Adobe Air app has gone silky smooth. They took their sweet time about it, but perhaps they finally got a half-decent Flash plugin onto the mac...
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

My prediction: Flash on iPad 2 (i.e., iOS 4.3).

My prediction: Safari 5.5 mobile with latest HTML 5 from WebKit.
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

My prediction: Flash on iPad 2 (i.e., iOS 4.3).

You don't know Steve very well do you??? Look up 'can hold a grudge' in the dictionary and next to it will be his picture.
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post #12 of 52
Too little & too late.
post #13 of 52
About time. Ugh.

Hope AI implements it right away.
post #14 of 52
This version uses WAY more CPU on my Mac Pro than before. 360p you tube video uses 80% CPU and 720p uses 170% CPU (i.e. more than one core). It used to use 30% CPU before.

So, obviously no hardware acceleration for this configuration. Windows 7, with mediocre video card uses 0-1% of CPU to play the same video in 720p.

Have not tried it yet on my Macbook with nVidia 9400 (where hardware acceleration is presumably supported), but this is just atrocious.

I think Adobe should just give up and people should move on from this crap to something better.

EDIT:

Alright, tried it on 13'' Aluminum Macbook as well. about 60 - 75 % CPU usage for 320p and 120% CPU usage for 720p (not full screen), but the 720p did stutter a bit here and there.

Really not impressed.

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Mac Pro, 8 Core, 32 GB RAM, nVidia GTX 285 1 GB, 2 TB storage, 240 GB OWC Mercury Extreme SSD, 30'' Cinema Display, 27'' iMac, 24'' iMac, 17'' MBP, 13'' MBP, 32 GB iPhone 4, 64 GB iPad 3

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post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

You don't know Steve very well do you??? Look up 'can hold a grudge' in the dictionary and next to it will be his picture.

There are just as many cases of steve panning something and then coming out with it a year later.
post #16 of 52
As far as I know, hardware acceleration doesn't work with ATI cards due to Apple not coding support for them. 21.5" iMac with ATI 4670 owner here. =/
post #17 of 52
Stevie has panned things only to later come back and embrace them when the time was right to do so.
post #18 of 52
Corrected headline:
Adobe Flash Player 10.2 CLAIMS improved hardware acceleration for Mac

Where are the benchmarks and independent tests? Why are we reading a press release?
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post

There are just as many cases of steve panning something and then coming out with it a year later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Stevie has panned things only to later come back and embrace them when the time was right to do so.


And this conflicts with what I said how? Are you actually trying to say that Steve DOEN'T hold grudges?!!?
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post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

My prediction: Flash on iPad 2 (i.e., iOS 4.3).

My prediction: You're on something and bogarting it.
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedxdesign View Post

it still blows.

Yah, Chrome isn't too happy with it.
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

You don't know Steve very well do you??? Look up 'can hold a grudge' in the dictionary and next to it will be his picture.

Along with a picture of women.

Incidentally, why don't dictionaries these days have pictures anymore?
post #23 of 52
That is all I care about. Flash is about the only thing that crashes my Macbook Pro.
post #24 of 52
Why is it still only a 32bit app?

Do these idiots actually know what 64bit is?

I went to download the 64bit Windows version at work and followed the link to the 64bit Windows version but all the links were for the 32bit version which refuses to run under 64bit Internet Explorer.

Hey Adobe... give up. Give up now and do the world a favour and just kill Flash. Take it to the back of the farm and put a .303 shell through its noggin and just end this misery once and for all.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

As far as I know, hardware acceleration doesn't work with ATI cards due to Apple not coding support for them. 21.5" iMac with ATI 4670 owner here. =/

It is not so. There's cheap and easy video acceleration which is supported by low end video cards, like 9400. Those cards have dedicated decoder processor which performs all the work at 0% CPU load. CPU load overhead is generated when copying data, reading video container, etc. In the end you get low CPU usage anyway. Apple provides access to this capability.

Higher-end cards typically don't have such a decoder. However they still can accelerate some operations of video decoding to much lesseer effect. AFAIK Apple doesn't provide access to hose facilities

What Apple does is OpenCL - all purpose hardware acceleration which is overkill for such an easy task as video decoding. So stating that Apple doesn't allow hardware acceleration is not correct.

I mentioned this before, and will repeat it again: Adobe's Flash on Mac is nothing more than a very poor port of Windows version. I remember when opening Flash video fullscreen slowed FPS down due to flash doing scaling programatically ignoring all Apple specific GUI technologies that would speed this up considerably.

For Adobe Mac is still an afterthought. I'm glad Flash is dying.
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post

Along with a picture of women.

Funniest comment I've read today! Thanks and Well done!
post #27 of 52
Steve wins.
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

You don't know Steve very well do you??? Look up 'can hold a grudge' in the dictionary and next to it will be his picture.

Right along with pictures of my ex-wives.
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post #29 of 52
*yawn* doubt i'll bother with it.
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post #30 of 52
Flash has uses and I’m glad to see it improve.

But video is the least of my problems with Flash performance. Why does a Flash banner ad that does nothing, with no video, make the fans crank up and the battery drop? Yes, it might accidentally be looping some complex but useless script... but not every ad is doing such an obscure thing. Most of them are probably doing just what it looks like: sitting there, with no motion at all after the animation ends; and yet Flash is sucking up CPU cycles.

And have you ever had Safari beachball for several seconds when changing from one tab to another? Bet you don’t see that much with Flash disabled:

Safari > Preferences > Security > Enable Plugins > Off When I occasionally want to turn it back on for one page, it’s simple.

(I also use the YouTube5 extension which makes (even embedded) videos from YouTube, Vimeo and others play even without plugins enabled. It doesn’t work every time... merely more than Flash itself!)
post #31 of 52
We also need to get all the idiot lazy programmers/ so called web designers to stop using this POS for nonsensical implementations, like putting a logo or headline on a web page - WTF people, learn your craft or go home!

Please let this POS die a quick and painful death!
post #32 of 52
Would be nice if Activity Monitor showed the GPU usage like it does for the CPU - then I could actually tell what was doing the processing.
post #33 of 52
I've been trying to watch al Jazeera Live video in Safari for the past two weeks and the performance has been dreadful. I've now, after 10.2, got it playing in another tab at the moment and the performance is superb and steady. Very pleased with the improvement!
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedxdesign View Post

it still blows.

before 10.2, 40 - 45% usage on 480p. After, roughly...40 - 45%. Am I doing something wrong?!

720p H.264 in quicktime just 15%. Thanks but I'll stick with my flash blockers.
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

I've been trying to watch al Jazeera Live video in Safari for the past two weeks and the performance has been dreadful. I've now, after 10.2, got it playing in another tab at the moment and the performance is superb and steady. Very pleased with the improvement!

I did notice much smoother playback when I do watch flash, so thanks Adobe, now the 30 min of video I can watch before my battery is drained will look almost as good as the HTML5 videos I watch.
post #36 of 52
This is what Adobe says about video hardware acceleration on Windows and Mac (last paragraph)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adobe

VIDEO HARDWARE ACCELERATION SUPPORT

Flash Player 10.2 supports hardware-accelerated decoding of H.264 video on Windows and Mac computers with supported hardware and drivers, providing enhanced video performance. For the latest information on supported hardware and drivers, visit the following vendor sites:

AMD/ATI drivers
AMD/ATI hardware decoding of H.264 video in Flash Player 10.2 is supported on AMD/ATI products with UVD2 with the ATI Catalyst™ Software Suite, starting with version 9.11 for the ATI Radeon™ family of products, and driver release 8.68 for the ATI FirePro™ family of products. Supported GPUs include: Radeon HD 4xxx and higher; Mobility Radeon HD 4xxx series and higher; Radeon HD 3xxx and higher; FirePro V3750, FirePro V7750, FirePro V8700, and FirePro V8750 and higher.

Broadcom drivers
Broadcom hardware decoding of H.264 video in Flash Player 10.2 is supported on the Broadcom BCM70012 as well as the BCM70015 video decoding chipsets, found in systems with Broadcom Crystal HD Enhanced Video Accelerator hardware. Systems using Broadcom video decoding should use a Windows Aero theme for optimal full-screen playback performance.

Intel drivers
Intel hardware decoding of H.264 video in Flash Player 10.2 is supported on the Intel 4 Series chipset family and the 2010 Intel Core processor family with Intel HD Graphics, starting with graphics driver version 15.16.5.2021 (8.15.10.2021) for 32/64-bit Windows Vista and Windows 7.

For the Atom/GMA 500 chipset, hardware decoding is supported starting with graphics driver version 5.2.1.2020 (8.14.10.2020) for 32-bit Windows 7. Systems using GMA 500 video decoding should use a Windows Aero theme for optimal full-screen playback performance.

NVIDIA drivers
Flash Player 10.2 offers GPU-acceleration of H.264 video on NVIDIA ION and supported NVIDIA GeForce and Quadro-powered computers. View the latest list of supported GPUs

Mac OS X hardware decoding support
On Mac computers, hardware decoding of H.264 video in Flash Player is available with Mac OS X 10.6.4 and later on hardware supported by the Mac OS Video Decode Acceleration Framework (such as the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M, and GeForce GT 330M). Whether hardware decoding will engage for a specific video is determined by the Mac OS Video Decode Acceleration Framework. View hardware used by different Mac models

[SOURCE: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashp...temreqs/#video]

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post #37 of 52
Flash Player 10.2 is also the version at which Adobe (finally) drops PPC support.

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post #38 of 52
People here said never an iPhone on Verizon and never Flash on iOS. Just saying.

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post #39 of 52
I had to turn off hardware acceleration on 10.1, the video kept locking up while in full screen. Hopefully this fixes that problem. Of course I'd rather PBS.com give us the option of playing H.264 instead.

The two video sites i regularly visit and neither work on the desktop without a plug-in, but both have a native iOS apps; PBS.com and Netflix. Go figure!?
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #40 of 52
Good and useful update, desktop Flash has never been why I hate Flash so much so I guess I should be happy with these improvements. Too bad it took them about 4 years too long to get to this point and Linux users are still left out in the cold.

Which immediately brings me to the point why Flash on mobile should die and whither: if Adobe can't even keep up with supporting 3 desktop OS's running on hardware that's many times faster than cell phones and tablets, you can bet the farm Flash on mobile platforms will turn out to be a nightmare on almost every phone/tablet in existence.
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