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Developing Android Applications with Adobe AIR by Véronique Brossier

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Chapter 12. Video

If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.

Stanley Kubrick

Watching quality video has become common on the Internet, thanks to the Adobe Flash Player 9, which introduced high-definition video and full-screen support in 2007. Since then, we have seen the evolution of a new type of user who does not watch, or own, a television and relies on the Internet for her viewing.

Mobile devices—and tablets in particular—are expected to offer the same service and convenience. Device manufacturers and software engineers are hard at work to meet this expectation.

Until then, video developers, more than any others, need to gauge limitations and test options for the best user experience. In this chapter, we will go over the different areas to consider for the best video delivery and experience.

Preparing Video

A codec is software used to encode and decode a digital video signal. Engineers try various solutions to maintain video quality while reducing the amount of data, using state-of-the-art compression algorithm design.

A large portion of your work will comprise preparing and testing various configurations.

Codecs

At the time of this writing, AIR for Android supports codecs for On2 VP6, H.263 (Sorenson Spark), and H.264.

H.264, also called MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC for Advanced Video Coding, delivers high-quality video at lower bit rates than H.263 and On2. It is more complicated to decode, however, and requires native GPU playback or a fast compressor to ensure smooth playback. ...

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