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Is VDPAU Support Coming in the Adobe Flash Plugin?

analyzing the latest Adobe Flash Player "Square" preview release seems to indicate it

One of the developers of the well known open source XBMC media center software yesterday indicated that the Linux version of the latest Adobe Flash Player preview release appears to include support for the Broadcom Crystal HD video decoder chips. This inspired us to analyse the Linux Flash plugin binary a bit more and we found that it contains a reference to "VDPAU" (the Nvidia API for video hardware decoding on Linux).
$ strings libflashplayer.so|grep -i vdpau
VDPAU
When doing the same search on the current release version of the Flash plugin for Linux (10.1.82.76) there is no result, so this is a new addition to the code.

Furthermore the occurence of the 'VDPAU' string in the binary is just before an 'OPENGL' string. Since OpenGL is what Flash currently uses as light hardware acceleration on Linux, this is a strong indicator that Adobe is working on adding VDPAU as alternative to OpenGL for video hardware acceleration.

Admittedly the string 'VDPAU' in the latest Flash binary is unlikely to mean that there is functioning VDPAU support in this beta already (for that we would expect to see a reference to libvdpau), but at least it looks like that's something that Adobe is finally working on!

VDPAU support in the Adobe Flash plugin on Linux would be a great benefit to Intel Atom + Nvidia ION powered devices that have become very popular as small, quiet HTPC front-ends (often used with the XBMC media center software) in the last year or so, since thanks to the Nvidia ION chip, they are perfectly capable of playing any media up to Blu-ray quality and up to 1080p.

The only weak point of these ION based devices is streaming Flash based online videos, where currently no hardware decoding support exists on Linux and therefore Atom+ION devices are too weak to decode Flash video at resolutions higher than 480p full-screen without stuttering.

VDPAU support in the Flash plugin would eliminate this last weakness, making Atom+ION devices with Linux absolutely perfect universal media players.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

[17-Sep-2010 - art-VDPAU_Support_Coming_in_Adobe_Flash_Plugin]
 

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