Just like everybody else these days, Adobe has its sights set on the living room. Today the company announced a version of its Adobe Flash Platform designed to run on Internet-connected televisions, set-top boxes, and Blu-ray players, with the aim of making it easier to deliver online video and other web-based content – think widgets – to the TV.
To achieve this, Adobe has already recruited a range of hardware and content partners, including Broadcom, Comcast, Intel, STMicroelectronics, Netflix, The New York Times Company, and Disney. The first devices to support the specially optimized version of Flash are expected to ship in the second half of 2009, says Adobe.
As much as Flash is entrenched on personal computers, especially for online video, like with mobile phones (still no Flash support on iPhone), Adobe is yet to become the dominant standard for delivering Internet content into the living room. Others competing in the space include Microsoft with its Mediaroom platform aimed at Telcos, and now with Silverlight, a direct Flash competitor.
Then there’s Yahoo with its “Widgets Channel”, which is also being backed by Intel who are obviously hedging their bets, and recently entered the wild on televisions from Samsung. Boutique gadget maker Chumby has re-invented itself for the living room, partnering with chip maker Broadcom to make it easy for consumer electronics companies to embed its widget platform into Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. And even Google is eyeing up the space, with rumors that a set-top box platform similar to Android is in the works, while the company has begun publicly experimenting with Internet TV widgets via a partnership with Panasonic.