Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 2nd Dec 2010 23:20 UTC
Multimedia, AV The sweet smell of competition is lingering in the air. That sweet smell which indicates that somewhere in the vicinity a company is working on actually improving a product so we can all benefit. This time around, it's Adobe, delivering the first Flash 10.2 beta. Prime feature? Complete hardware acceleration of the entire video pipeline - fully cross platform, cross-form factor. Cross-platform! There's a catch, though.
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Still not ideal
by fury on Fri 3rd Dec 2010 01:32 UTC
fury
Member since:
2005-09-23

Well I just installed the 10.2 beta on my Ubuntu Lucid laptop, Intel GM965, Core 2 Duo @ 2.1Ghz, 3 GB DDR2, using Chromium. I'm sure there's little or no VA support for this chipset, but I figured I'd give it a shot.

The driver definitely provides a higher, more stable frame rate, and screen tearing is almost unnoticeable- for once Hulu felt like it was a local video. Hulu specifically is a terribly performing video player compared to the Youtube one, and all it took was scrolling a window (not the player window) to disrupt the smoothness of the video.

I popped open the stock Youtube player to enjoy some HD video tests. 1080p videos were choppy, but local 1080p plays slow and out of sync on this machine so I wasn't surprised.

I tried 720p. First off, this thing was a CHAMP when I went full screen and let go of my mouse. Video played at a wonderful frame rate with no interruptions and nice fluid, smooth motion. Moving the mouse or doing anything outside the player lessened performance somewhat, but not enough to bother someone whose attention was turned to, say, a web page on another monitor.

Most of the speed gain will be felt when Flash apps are ported to use the new Stage APIs, so I checked out the patched Youtube video player that Adobe provides as a demo. I really didn't notice much of a difference between the two players however, I would bet that's because of the VA support (or lack thereof) in my graphics hardware.

Finally the full screen multi-monitor stuff. Nope, none of it works at all in my testing. Full screen videos behave exactly the same as 10.1: videos always show on the primary monitor and clicking on *anything* not part of the video window will result in returning to windowed mode (oh, and the small player stays visible on your other monitor, just froze on the current frame).

Did I mention that CPU usage is as high as ever, using about 146% (that means 1 full core and 1/2 of the other) for chromium while watching a video. I think it's safe to assume Flash was running on the fully utilized core.

For those with VA-capable video cards I'm sure this is a boon, for those with integrated graphics it is a moderate plus, and, at least for those multi-monitor dudes on Linux (myself included), Hulu popout will remain very useful at least for the time being.

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