Video Improvements, a sneak peek from “Flash on the Beach” keynote by Thibault Imbert

Last Monday at "Flash on the Beach" keynote, I showcased new improvements we have been doing lately with video playback in the Flash Player.

So what happened ?

As you guys may know, we introduced earlier this year Flash Player 10.1 with H.264 GPU decoding on MacOS, Windows and Linux, which already highly improved the CPU usage when viewing H.264 video. But we are going further with dramatic CPU usage reduction in an upcoming version of the Flash Player.

Below is a snapshot of the Activity Monitor using Flash Player 10.1, playing a 1080p video with H.264 GPU decoding enabled :

1080p Video with H.264 GPU decoding

You see that for such a video, CPU is still being used for about 50%, cause the CPU is not totally offloaded, still displaying and scaling the video frames.
Now in the following picture I am using the new feature we will be introducing soon, as you can see the CPU is highly offloaded and playing a 1080p video with around 8% CPU usage.

Note how the memory usage drops down too :

1080p Video with H.264 GPU decoding with latest video improvements.

It gets even better when you start overlaying content on top of the video. Most of Flash websites use a lot of overlayed content on top of the video. In the snapshot below, the CPU usage goes pretty high, cause complex content is on top of my video, the CPU is working on compositing the video frames and the vector content in the display list which is an intensive task :

Overlay compositing before latest video improvements.

By leveraging the upcoming feature, take a look at my CPU usage and memory now, the exact same content with a few lines of code changed :

Overlay compositing after latest video improvements.

Again, this will dramatically improve the video performance in the Flash Player. Note that this feature will be available on Windows, MacOS and Linux, and this new improvement is not restricted to H.264 video or specific video cards vendors, any video frame whatever the codec used will benefit from this.

If you are interested into learning more about this, do not hesitate to meet us at Max.
If you want to try this as soon as possible, just drop me an email.

Update : Note that this feature called StageVideo has been demoed at Max 2010 sneaks, make sure to check the following links : 1, 2

Hope you guys like it!

Comments (32)

  1. Cricri wrote::

    My MacBook will love you for this improvement in the next flash player release !! :D

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 1:38 am #
  2. Conishiwa wrote::

    “the exact same content with a few lines of code changed”

    Bonsoir,

    j’aurais deux questions :

    - quand est sensée sortir cette version du player qui a l’air bien optimisée ?

    - est-on vraiment obligé de se payer un billet pour l’autre bout du monde pour connaître les deux lignes codes qui font la différence ?

    En tout cas, bravo pour le boulot que tu fais à travers ton blog, tes bouquins et tes projets open-source. Ça apporte beaucoup à la communauté flash, et on attend tous avec impatience le deux tome de ton livre sur les bytearray.

    Et excuse my French.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 3:00 am #
  3. stanar007 wrote::

    MAC only or?

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 3:07 am #
  4. Pat wrote::

    Wow, that is fantastic news! Well done!

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 8:10 am #
  5. leng wrote::

    Sure, I want to try it!
    But how hardware specific is it? I heard it’s a prototype and hardware acceleration wasn’t available on the newest macs, because of the videocard that was used…

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 9:44 am #
  6. Thibault Imbert wrote::

    Hi stenar007,

    Linux, MacOS, and Windows :)

    Thibault

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 10:51 am #
  7. Pedram wrote::

    thanks it’s very helpful.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 11:18 am #
  8. eco_bach wrote::

    What does Apple think of this? Let’s get flash support on iOS.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm #
  9. forwolk wrote::

    I would definetly like to try it.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm #
  10. lonic wrote::

    However, the mac part is the interesting not only because of the performance, but the fanboys….
    Wonder how they would react (or just not react, because Jobs doesn’t)…

    But why not go to Steve Jobs and make a video about it? It would make a nice viral video ;) And you know people like viral videos!

    Well, flash player support instead of a flash packager on iOS would be interesting… But what about the scrolling part?

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 2:45 pm #
  11. CaioToOn! wrote::

    Awesome feature!!

    Excuse the off topic, but I keep asking myself if HTML5 will update at this pace. I really think Flash is still the best option for development.

    Cheers,
    CaioToOn!

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm #
  12. eco_bach wrote::

    1–Another test, video with alpha on top of complex vector animation

    2–HTML5 video comparison please!

    3–ETA?

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm #
  13. Thibault Imbert wrote::

    Hi eco_bach,,

    1. This is the one limitation, you cannot place content behind the video content. It is a hardware resource with some restrictions like this one.

    2. We will perform better or at least the same. But with all the cool stuff you can do with Flash on top or with the video ;)

    3. Really soon, a few months ;)

    Thibault

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 4:12 pm #
  14. Thibault Imbert wrote::

    Hi leng,

    This feature is not tied to specific graphics cards vendor unlike H.264 GPU decoding on Mac only available now on NVidia cards. Both features (H.264 GPU decoding and this one) are not tied, you can one have running without the other. But to get the best experience, you will need both.

    On Windows the performance is even more crazy, between 0 and 5% CPU usage ;)

    Thibault

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 4:15 pm #
  15. Thibault Imbert wrote::

    Salut Conishiwa,

    Merci pour ton message!

    - quand est sensée sortir cette version du player qui a l’air bien optimisée ?

    D’ici quelques mois.

    - est-on vraiment obligé de se payer un billet pour l’autre bout du monde pour connaître les deux lignes codes qui font la différence ?

    Non, j’en parlerai aussi ici :)

    Thibault

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm #
  16. Thibault Imbert wrote::

    Hi Cricri,

    Mine loves it already :)

    Thibault

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 4:18 pm #
  17. Derek O'Brien wrote::

    Fantastic news..

    Will it make it over to the Android FP/AIR?
    :-)

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm #
  18. Mark wrote::

    Wow this looks promising! We want more sneak previews!! I am very happy to see Adobe takes performance seriously. I cannot wait till this is released in public. Will these features become the new flashplayer 11 or 10.2?

    ps. Will ecmaScript 4 (AS4?) be included?

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm #
  19. groinko wrote::

    Great news!
    À propos de vidéo et d’optimisation pour les mobiles, j’ai lu ton whitepaper ainsi que le Begginers guide sur devnet http://www.adobe.com/devnet/devices/articles/deploy_video_mobile.html mais je ne parviens pas á sortir de Media encoder un mp4 qui soit totalement fluide dans le navigateur du N1 avec le lecteur Adobe… alors que ces mêmes mp4 sont nickel lorque lus dans le lecteur Android… flûte. Le guide préconise un débit de 100-800 kbps… c’est très peu, d’ailleurs il est impossible de descendre si bas dans Media encoder. Aurais-tu un conseil ? Y a-t-il un avantage á utiliser f4v au lieu de mp4 ?
    Désolé pour la longueur du commentaire, pas très funky en plus.
    Merci et bon foie de morue !

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 10:43 pm #
  20. jloa wrote::

    Wow, great improvements!
    And what about the x86 player? Any improvements there (or plans)?

    Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 12:43 am #
  21. JGarrido wrote::

    Same question as Derek: When could we expect to see the improvement available on Android?

    Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 6:01 am #
  22. Tahir Ahmed wrote::

    Oh. My. God.

    More on performance. Yes, more focus on performance please. Thanks.

    - Tahir.

    Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 7:59 am #
  23. Thibault Imbert wrote::

    Hi Derek and JGarrido,

    Yes it does. But I cannot share an exact timeframe for now cause we are still working on this :)

    Thibault

    Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm #
  24. dim wrote::

    please give us a code example :) !

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 7:40 am #
  25. Ozren wrote::

    Are those improvments only related to video or bitmaps and vectors animations will also preform better?

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:27 am #
  26. Kevin Newman wrote::

    Low CPU usage + not tied to specific GPU = proper desktop GPU compositing! :-)

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 7:47 pm #
  27. groinko wrote::

    Hi Thibault!
    Sorry for my stupid comment (n°19), now my mp4 videos are played perfectly on nexus one (I’ve had a look at Flash help…).

    Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm #
  28. Micheal wrote::

    Will the GPU accelerated vector graphics work for all vectors that are made with flash? So also for moving and changing vectors and a online vector editor like Aviary’s Raven?

    Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 1:17 am #
  29. LSaridina wrote::

    It sounds good that the CPU and memory used is fall dramatically. The next player will be a great leap from it’s predecessor.
    But it seems that the GPU acceleration is tied mainly on the video rendering. Just hoping that any vector drawing will also affected.

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 4:12 pm #
  30. a_[w] wrote::

    234.5% of CPU usage… I don’t understand how something can eat more than 100% of resources. :-S I have not Mac and this looks strange, like photoshop. :)

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 9:23 am #
  31. valyard wrote::

    add http:// to video links
    at least chrome fails to open them

    Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 12:15 am #
  32. wad wrote::

    Attention, les deux liens de l’update ne fonctionnent pas comme prévu :-).

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

Trackbacks/Pingbacks (5)

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