Flash in TV sets

From Colin Mann in Las Vegas

At NAB Adobe has announced a deal to put its Flash software into many of the chips that go inside TVs and set-top boxes. This will enable developers and content providers to create applications to deliver web-based content to TV screens.

Flash will be included on chips made by Broadcom, Intel, NXP and STMicroelectronics.

The first applications using Flash are expected to hit TV sets early in 2010.

Sony and Samsung already have a number of connected TVs on the market, but they are using Yahoo’s rich media platform of widgets instead of Flash. More than 420 million TVs, set-top boxes, and media players are expected to ship globally in the next three years and increasingly they are capable of being connected to the net.

Adobe has signed up video delivery service Netflix, Disney and the New York Times to make the first batch of applications. The appeal for content makers and developers is the emergence of a single standard for rich media, which will let them create applications that run on many devices. “Change is coming to TV and we will see more and more content get used and taken to TV,” said Anup Murarka, director of technology strategy for Flash. Flash is installed on about 98% of PCs and almost 80% of all online video is delivered using Flash, according to Adobe. It powers services such as YouTube, the BBC iPlayer and a new generation of video games inside the browser, such as Quake Live.

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