Posted in: Desktop software

Flash 10.2 beta is out, promises 1080p video playback at 0% CPU usage

HD video, 0% CPU utilization and Flash – that has to be a joke, right? But Adobe isn’t laughing and promises just that with Flash 10.2 beta. This is achieved by letting the graphics card do all the heavy-lifting.

Other goodies like improved multi-monitor support and faster overall rendering (not just video) have been added to the new version…

Flash 10.1 added support for the long-awaited hardware acceleration for video – decoding the video on the video card (most new GPUs support it). The reality however is that playing HD Flash videos is still a CPU-intensive task.

The new Flash Player 10.2 beta adds new functionality called Stage Video, which does the rest of the video rendering actions on the GPU itself without bothering the CPU with it.

Those steps include color conversion, scaling and blitting (that is actually drawing the rendered frame on the screen), which all had to be done by the processor previously. So, with a video card capable of decoding H.264 video, even Full HD videos should work smoothly.

Here’s a long video demo:

Support for Internet Explorer 9 and its GPU rendering has been included in Flash 10.2 beta, which Adobe claims improves rendering performance by 35%.

Also, thanks to the new beta, Flash behaves better on multiple monitor setups and plays full-screen videos on one monitor, while letting you work on the others.

Text rendering has also been enhanced and there’s native support for custom mouse pointers (apparently, a frequently requested feature from developers).

If you want to give Flash 10.2 beta a try, you can download it from here.

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