Flash goes high-definition

Flash goes high-definition

Adobe pipes HD video into media player

Adobe has implemented support for high-definition video in the latest version of its Flash player.

Flash 9 Moviestar supports the H.264 encoding standard used in HD video formats, allowing sites to stream HD video via the Flash plug-in.

The update could boost the presence of HD video on the web. Adobe claims that Flash is installed on 99 per cent of internet-enabled PCs worldwide, and the format is used by such sites as YouTube, MySpace and the BBC.

To boost support for the new format, Adobe has announced updates to the Flash Media Server software used to serve the streaming Flash videos.

The $995 Flash Media Streaming Server 3 is aimed at smaller firms, allowing site owners to stream video in the new HD format.

It supports Adobe's Flash Lite mobile players, and Adobe Integrated Runtime which allows users to access rich internet applications offline.

By offering a lower-priced server package, the company hopes to extend the reach of streaming video.

High-end users will be offered the $4,500 Flash Media Interactive Server 3 which includes support for the new formats as well as bundled software and support for rights-management and access control software.

The new version of the Flash player is currently available for Mac, Linux and Windows. Both Flash Media Server packages are slated for release in January.