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Broadcom To Pack Adobe's Flash Into TV Chips

In another pact aimed at bringing Web-based video to TVs, Broadcom and Adobe Systems announced Tuesday that they will work together to integrate Adobe’s Flash multimedia platform into Broadcom’s latest digital television and set-top box system-on-a-chip platforms. 

Adobe’s Flash is a de facto standard for delivering online video, and is used by the largest Internet TV destinations, including Google’s YouTube and Hulu.

By adapting Flash for TV platforms, according to Broadcom, television viewers would be able to view Flash-based content and applications from many different popular online providers and entertainment sites. Broadcom is one of the leading suppliers of set-top box silicon, having shipped 161 million chip sets in the segment to date.

“Consumers with broadband Internet access increasingly enjoy viewing the wide array of video content available to them and it is clear that they want to watch their favorite online video content on their televisions for the best viewing experience,” said Dan Marotta, senior vice president and general manager of Broadcom’s Broadband Communications Group. “By integrating Adobe Flash support in our latest portfolio of digital television and set-top box solutions, Broadcom will pave the way for an exciting new entertainment experience in the home.”

The agreement follows Adobe’s similar announcement earlier this week with Intel, which is planning to embed the Flash player into its media-processor chip.


Broadcom said Adobe Flash Lite 3 software will be supported in Broadcom’s BCM3549, BCM3556, BCM7400 and BCM7405 system-on-a-chip solutions. The Flash-enabled products are expected to be available to manufacturers in the first half of 2009. 

Microsoft has a competing media-delivery platform for the Web, called Silverlight, but Adobe’s Flash remains the most widely used technology for playing back video in a browser.

Broadcom will demonstrate the Flash-based TV and system-on-a-chip products this week at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show.

Separately, Broadcom also announced that its BCM7405 digital set-top box system-on-a-chip is being used in 2Wire’s MediaPoint digital media player. The MediaPoint player enables service providers to quickly provide their customers with entertainment offerings delivered directly to their TVs, including movies, video, music and other on-demand Web-based media content, as well as personal music and video content.

In November, Blockbuster said it would sell the 2Wire MediaPoint player as part of the video-rental chain’s Internet-based on-demand service.