In part one of the Flash Player Internals recap we covered how the player is built, in part two we talked about how the player infrastructure works, in part three we examined how ActionScript and the Virtual Machine (VM) are improving in Flash Player 10.1. Now, in the final segment (looking at my notes this will be the longest segment) we will look at how the Flash Player rendering system is being improved and how you can leverage it for multiple devices.
Shake Your Movie-maker
One of the biggest changes in player 10.1 is that all video will now be GPU decoded. This is huge for you video buffs out there because GPU decoding is sick fast and allows lower power devices, like netbooks, to play 1080p video smoothly and efficiently. In the current player, video is decoded using a software based decoder (except in fullscreen, when GPU may be used, but not guaranteed) which is fine when you are on a big 8 core beast, but little machines just can't handle the data.
Now, with a change this big there has to be a few caveats. Well, there is. First, your GPU has to support H.264 decoding in the chipset. If your GPU (ex: video card) doesn't support that, then you are out of luck and the Player will fall back to software decoding. Next, your GPU and GPU drivers have to be certified for the Player to use it. If you have an older driver that is not certified it won't matter if your chipset supports H.264 or not, the Player won't leverage it.read more...