AIR capabilities for TVs

You can create Adobe® AIR® applications for TV devices, such as televisions, digital video recorders, and Blu-ray players, if the device contains Adobe AIR for TV. AIR for TV is optimized for TV devices, by using, for example, a device’s hardware accelerators for high performance video and graphics.

AIR applications for TV devices are SWF-based applications, not HTML-based. Your AIR for TV application can take advantage of hardware acceleration, as well as other AIR capabilities that are well-suited for the “living room” environment.

Device profiles

AIR uses profiles to define a target set of devices with similar capabilities. Use the following profiles for AIR for TV applications:

  • The tv profile. Use this profile in AIR applications that target an AIR for TV device.

  • The extendedTV profile. Use this profile if your AIR for TV application uses native extensions.

The ActionScript capabilities defined for these profiles are covered in Device profiles. Specific ActionScript differences for AIR for TV applications are noted in the ActionScript 3.0 Reference for the Adobe Flash Platform.

For details about AIR for TV profiles, see Supported profiles.

Hardware acceleration

Television devices provide hardware accelerators that dramatically increase the performance of graphics and video in your AIR application. To take advantage of these hardware accelerators, see AIR for TV application design considerations.

Content protection

AIR for TV enables the creation of rich consumer experiences around premium video content, from Hollywood blockbusters to independent films and TV episodes. Content providers can create interactive applications using Adobe’s tools. They can integrate Adobe server products into their content distribution infrastructure or work with one of Adobe’s ecosystem partners.

Content protection is a key requirement for the distribution of premium video. AIR for TV supports Adobe® Flash® Access™, a content protection and monetization solution that meets the stringent security requirements of content owners, including the major film studios.

Flash Access supports the following:

  • Video streaming and downloading.

  • Various business models, including ad-supported, subscription, rental, and electronic sell-through.

  • Different content-delivery technologies, including HTTP Dynamic Streaming, streaming over RTMP (Real Time Media Protocol) using Flash® Media Server, and progressive download with HTTP.

AIR for TV also has built-in support for RTMPE, the encrypted version of RTMP, for existing streaming solutions with lower security requirements. RTMPE and related SWF verification technologies are supported in Flash Media Server.

For more information, see Adobe Flash Access.

Multichannel audio

Starting with AIR 3, AIR for TV supports multichannel audio for videos that are progressively downloaded from an HTTP server. This support includes these codecs:

  • AC-3 (Dolby Digital)

  • E-AC-3 (Enhanced Dolby Digital)

  • DTS Digital Surround

  • DTS Express

  • DTS-HD High Resolution Audio

  • DTS-HD Master Audio

Note: Support for multichannel audio in videos streamed from an Adobe Flash Media Server is not yet available.

Game input

Starting with AIR 3, AIR for TV supports ActionScript APIs that allow applications to communicate with attached game input devices, such as joysticks, gamepads, and wands. Although these devices are called game input devices, any AIR for TV application, not just games, can use the devices.

A wide range of game input devices with different capabilities are available. Therefore, the devices are generalized in the API so that an application can function well with different (and possibly unknown) types of game input devices.

The GameInput class is the entry point into the game input ActionScript APIs. For more information, see GameInput.

Stage 3D accelerated graphics rendering

Starting with AIR 3, AIR for TV supports Stage 3D accelerated graphics rendering. The Stage3D ActionScript APIs are a set of low-level GPU-accelerated APIs enabling advanced 2D and 3D capabilities. These low-level APIs provide developers the flexibility to leverage GPU hardware acceleration for significant performance gains. You can also use gaming engines that support the Stage3D ActionScript APIs.

For more information, see Gaming engines, 3D, and Stage 3D.

Native extensions

When your application targets the extendedTV profile, it can use ANE (AIR native extension) packages.

Typically, a device manufacturer provides ANE packages to provide access to device features not otherwise supported by AIR. For example, a native extension could allow you to change channels on a television or pause playback on a video player.

When you package an AIR for TV application that uses ANE packages, you package the application into an AIRN file instead of an AIR file.

Native extensions for AIR for TV devices are always device-bundled native extensions. Device-bundled means that the extension libraries are installed on the AIR for TV device. The ANE package you include in your application package never includes the extension’s native libraries. Sometime it contains an ActionScript-only version of the native extension. This ActionScript-only version is a stub or simulator of the extension. The device manufacturer installs the real extension, including the native libraries, on the device.

If you are developing native extensions, note the following:

  • Always consult the device manufacturer if you are creating an AIR for TV native extension for their devices.

  • On some AIR for TV devices, only the device manufacturer creates native extensions.

  • On all AIR for TV devices, the device manufacturer decides which native extensions to install.

  • Development tools for building AIR for TV native extensions vary by manufacturer.

For more information about using native extensions in your AIR application, see Using native extensions for Adobe AIR.

For information about creating native extensions, see Developing Native Extensions for Adobe AIR.