Few days ago Apple enabled low-level access to the graphic cards of the newer Mac computer in Mac OS X 10.6.3. Adobe took advantage of this API to access to the GPU hardware accelerator for video decoding. The new Flash player 10.1 using the API should provide better HD video playback experience and more importantly to further reduce power consumption.
The new video acceleration API is only available in Mac OS X 10.6.3 or later and is limited to GPUs models such as NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M. (iPhone, IPod Touch, iPad no need to apply ) For more details you can look at Apple’s technote. Here is a list of the Mac models currently supported:
- MacBooks shipped after January 21st, 2009
- Mac Minis shipped after March 3rd, 2009
- MacBook Pros shipped after October 14th, 2008
- iMacs which shipped after the first quarter of 2009
After you install the new beta version of Adobe Flash Player (code named “Gala”) and play a video you will sometimes notice a white rectangle overlaying the video. This is the sign that hardware decoding is currently active.