Adobe has released Flash Player 10.2, introducing Stage Video, a new API that delivers high performance video playback across platforms and browsers. The new version also offers everything introduced in the beta, including custom native mouse cursors, multiple monitor full-screen support, enhanced sub-pixel rendering for superior text readability, and Internet Explorer 9 hardware accelerated rendering support previewed earlier in Flash Player Square.
Those who already have Flash Player installed should have gotten a prompt to update it when they turned on their computer this morning. If you did not, you can download Flash Player 10.2.152.26 directly for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
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. On the whole, Adobe has claimed that the new version is 10 times more efficient in CPU usage compared to version 10.1 of the plug-in. Separately, IE9 GPU support means up to a 35 percent improvement in rendering performance.