Future of Web video is 'interactive'

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Future of Web video is 'interactive'

Flash is the way forward, says Adobe.

The future of Web video is interactive, but it is neither linear nor high definition, according to an executive at Adobe.

The prediction by Jim Guerard, vice president of web and video product management at Adobe, follows last week's warnings from Google and Deloitte that the internet will struggle to support increasingly high-quality online video.  

"Picture quality will continue to improve online and on mobile, but it will not go all the way to HD," Guerard told vnunet.com.

"The bandwidth and storage requirement of HD is too big. The real breakthrough will be interactive storytelling taking over from linear narrative. "

Interactive adverts are leading a trend for increasingly "sit-forward" online video content, according to Guerard.

"As the content industry matures, producers will work with video in increasingly non-linear and more creative ways. Mobile TV, for example, will be about rich media news, sports and highlights, not linear content."

Perhaps inevitably, Guerard cited Adobe's Flash as the ideal format for enabling richly interactive functions on numerous platforms without taking up much bandwidth.

Adobe's Flash Lite Video (FLV) format is used by websites including YouTube, Google Video and MySpace.

"I think that Flash is already the future of online video," said Guerard. " It is on 98 per cent of the world's internet-connected desktops, and powers a tremendous amount of the video on the internet today, whether from Disney or CBS or user-generated content on MySpace."

FLV for mobile devices has been adopted by firms including Nokia, LG Electronics, Samsung, Verizon and Sony Ericsson for use on next-generation handsets.

Guerard spoke to vnunet.com after attending last week's Video Forum conference in London, at which Adobe announced a Mac version of its Production Studio tool.

Adobe has also released On Location, a rebranded version of the DV Rack video tool developed by Serious Magic, the US software firm it acquired last October.

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