Blinkbox gets StageVideo

Posted: 10/11/11

An image of Blinkbox gets StageVideo

Overnight we're going from mains-connected machines with fast CPUs and oodles of memory to devices that are constrained by the limited power their batteries supply, and carry less memory and slower CPUs. Video can be a massive consumer of resources on a device, unless the process for displaying it is optimized for devices.

Since Flash Player 10.0 blinkbox has been offering hardware accelerated video to our users on the Flash runtime, where their device is able to support it. Doing this took some of the heavy rendering effort away from the CPU and diverted video rendering to the GPU.

Late last year Adobe launched StageVideo in Flash Player 10.2, and new API that allows us direct access to the GPU on newer graphics cards to scale and display the video in a more efficient way.

* Video content is streamed from our CDN.

* Flash passes the video bytes directly to the hardware H.264 decoder.

* Flash instructs the decoder to render the video directly to the screen.

* Flash renders all of the non-video elements and places them on top of the rendered video.

Because Flash Player no longer has to make any calculations to render the video, this takes even more load off of the CPU. Less CPU load means less power, heat, noise and freezes.

Adobe AIR for TV on Samsung TVs supports StageVideo out-of-the-box. StageVideo is something that desktop and laptop computers can also benefit from: in most cases rendering video in full-screen will reduce CPU use by at least 30%.

Brightcove did some interesting StageVideo benchmarking tests that revealed some encouraging results.

Now that Flash Player 10.2 (or better) adoption is in the high 90s percent, blinkbox has taken the decision to role this performance enhancement into its players to allow users to experience the benefits. With StageVideo, performance on OSX is greatly improved, something Mac users who watch video on blinkbox will appreciate.

Keywords for this post: blinkbox, stagevideo, flash, video, actionscript 3, air