Adobe Systems recently released the newest version of its Flash Player, 10.2 which includes a new "Stage Video" feature that promises high-performance video playback which uses just over 0 percent CPU usage.
One other thing which may impress you is Adobe’s availability to listen to its customers, as with the new Flash Player 10.2 beta, users with multiple monitors can watch their favorite videos in true full screen on one of them, while multi-tasking on another.
Adobe has been developing GPU acceleration in recent builds of Flash player, and the Stage Video feature in the 10.2 release now offloads the whole video rendering pipeline to the Graphic Processing Unit (GPU), so not only is H.264 decoded in hardware, but other adjustments such as color conversion and scaling are managed by the GPU.
This means that the video hardware will take care of video decode as well as color conversion, scaling, and blatting. With this sort of load put on the GPU, this means that CPU utilization for even 1080p video will be almost nothing.
This allows for very little CPU usage during video playback, with the only requirement being that Web developers will have to update their sites to use the latest APIs for their video players. No other changes will need to be made for the site’s infrastructure or video encoding.
The current beta is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Windows users get the bonus of Internet Explorer 9 hardware acceleration support. It seems that YouTube has already begun to add support for the API. By using IE 9, Adobe says that some of the evaluations have revealed an improvement of up to 35% in rendering performance.