Adobe Bringing Hardware Acceleration With Flash 10.1

by Damian on November 17, 2009 · 3 comments

in News

FlashOne common complaint amongst us HTPC users is somewhat unreliable playback of flash videos such as from sites like Hulu. This is due to Flash not supporting hardware acceleration and being too much for underpowered CPUs to handle. Well, looks like we have some great news, Adobe has just released Flash 10.1 which promises to support hardware acceleration for ATI/AMD, Intel, and NVidia GPUs. Flash 10.1 is available for download for Windows, Intel-based Macintosh and Linux desktop operating systems. Please keep in mind that this is a prerelease, so there is the potential for bugs.

My desktop PC has the NVidia 8800GT GPU, so heading over to NVidia’s website it appears that new drivers are now available that add support for Flash 10.1 (the latest driver for x32 can be found here).

My HTPCs have the AMD Radeon 4670 GPU. On the AMD website there doesn’t appear to be a new driver released, but I would expect just as with NVidia a new driver shortly to add support for Flash 10.1.

A good reference video to test out Flash HD is this video of Legend of the Seeker, which can be played in 720p over on Hulu.

You can view the full release notes here. Flash 10.1 prerelease can be downloaded here.

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Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for you can find me over at my blog at or follow me on twitter


Alex Kuretz November 17, 2009 at 9:29 am

This is great news, especially for those of us with the fairly relatively underpowered ION platform HTPCs.

bugman30 November 18, 2009 at 10:17 am

I upgraded my ASRock Ion 330 last night, and I must say, Hulu experience is MUCH, MUCH IMPROVED with the new version of Flash. Quality of video is much better, and there is no more stuttering. Not what I’d call HD quality, but it is actually watchable now. My 8-year old watched an episode of an X-Men cartoon, and the wife watched last weeks episode of Glee (ok, I watched too). There was an occasional single stutter a few minutes apart, but no complaints. Not nearly as bad as it was before when it was stutter every 10 seconds or less and quality was less than SD.

Seems to exhibit same behavior as I see in NetFlix streaming. First few seconds of the video are not great quality, but then suddenly increases in quality. I’m guessing when the buffer fills up or something.

I’m very happy that this is out, even if it’s only beta at this point. I was excited when it was announced, and it almost lives up to what I was hoping for. I think the only thing I’m wishing for on this front is for increasing the amount of HD content from Hulu’s end as I can’t find much at all.

Damian November 18, 2009 at 10:19 am

Awesome to hear Bugman, thanks for reporting. I expect we will quickly start seeing more HD content, I know YouTube is making the move to 1080p. Hopefully everything is looking up from here!!!

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