Flash Player 10.2 beta introduces Stage Video, a new API that delivers high performance video playback across platforms, and IE9 hardware acceleration support previewed earlier in Flash Player Square. Hardware acceleration of the entire video pipeline means Stage Video can deliver HD video with dramatically little processing power: "smooth 1080p HD video with just over 0% CPU usage," according to Adobe. The GPU offloads not only H.264 hardware decoding (introduced in Flash Player 10.1) but the rest of the video rendering pipeline, including color conversion, scaling, and blitting. Internet Explorer 9 GPU support means up to a 35 percent improvement in rendering performance.
The Flash Player 10.2 beta also features two popular requests from the community: support for full screen playback with multiple monitors and a native custom mouse cursors API. Users with multiple monitors will be able to watch videos in full screen on one display while multi-tasking on another. Support for native custom mouse cursors means developers will be able to create their own cursors, static or animated, and ask the native OS to render them rather than use resources to manually do so. Finally, the new beta release also includes new sub-pixel text rendering enhancements that leverage Adobe typography research to further enhance readability of text in Flash Player, especially for complex character-based languages.
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