To date, Adobe's efforts to push Flash to TVs have passed mostly under the radar, and haven't netted many actual products. This is about to change, according to a forthcoming announcement from the company.
Products we've seen to date—namely the Intel Media Processor, Yahoo! Connected TV platform and smattering of proprietary connected sets—have offered up a taste of what Flash support means for TVs, albeit through often-clumsy widget systems and the tolerable Flash Lite. Now—through another offshoot of its Open Screen Initiative—Adobe wants to expand Flash support to all kinds of hardware, in what looks like a bid to set a new VOD standard, inking deals with companies as diverse as Comcast, Broadcom, Netflix and Intel.
In theory, this means we'll see a wave of Flash-enabled DVRs, set-top boxes and HDTVs by the middle of this year, and they told us you'll see new Flash applications for the framework early next. Since Yahoo actually uses Flash in their own widget framework for TVs, they're not exactly competing—Adobe wins either way. Adobe's goal is to be just as ubiquitous on embedded devices as it is on computers connected to the web: Over 90 percent have the Flash plug-in installed.
The above is just one concept of how a Flash-based UI could look. Hulu just inched closer to millions of living rooms, and there's really no downside to that. [NYT]