In this video, Managing Editor Julie Campagna interviews Product Manager Aditya Bansod about Adobe AIR for TV, a tuned and optimized version of AIR that is designed to work on TV hardware. Transcript.
Julie Campagna: Hi, I'm Julie Campagna. I manage the Edge newsletter. Last week at MAX, we had a lot of product announcements, and one that generated a lot of buzz was Adobe AIR for TV. So today I'm with Aditya, who is going to provide us with some more information about AIR for TV and give us a demo. So, Aditya, tell us: how were you involved with AIR for TV?
Aditya Bansod: Sure. So I'm a product manager for AIR for TV, and I help work with the engineering team, the quality management team, and our launch partner, Samsung, to get this product out the door and into market.
Julie: Great. So what is AIR for TV?
Aditya: AIR for TV is an extension of our AIR platform into the TV space. AIR originally was for Windows and Mac, went to Linux, Android, iPhone, and now the last platform, televisions. It's a platform that other developers, designers, and content creators can actually put content on top of and then use that as their underpinning for what they want to do.
Julie: And how is AIR for TV different from Google TV?
Aditya: Sure. Google TV is a platform, too, but AIR kind of sits above all these platforms. It provides you a unified view into creating content. So we can imagine that AIR would run on all sorts of platforms to kind of enable content creators to have their apps run everywhere.
Julie: If I'm a developer and I create an AIR game, that game that was initially deployed to my desktop, can I take that game and put it right to the TV?
Aditya: Yeah. You have the same capabilities. The runtime is the same. We take advantage of the hardware that's in the TV, like 2D acceleration and video HD decoding. There's a lot of differences, though, between a desktop and a TV. You want to be smart about what you do so you can use a remote effectively, you can use video effectively and 2D effectively.
Julie: Can you give us a demo?
Aditya: Yeah, I'd be happy to. So, the first demo I want to show is this app called Hollywood Previews. Hollywood Previews is a little application that is provided by our friends at RCDb, and what this app does is it lets you play movie trailers. And so this application uses our 2D-acceleration capabilities in AIR for TV as well as the video-playback capabilities. We have a new APIs, like stage video, and so this kind of provides a nice little showcase for being able to play back some video here. The next app is Christian Cantrell's iReverse. iReverse is an app that Christian has built for many different platforms that have Adobe's platforms on it, whether it's AIR for TV, whether it's AIR for iPhone, whether it's AIR for Android or Flash Player. The same application runs in any place that the Flash platform is. This is a very good example of an application, using the remote control, that can actually be used to show a simple kind of interactive game that runs on televisions. So I'm going to play this here, place a tile, and continue playing on the game here.
The next game I want to show is one by Spiral9. It's a game called Point Fusion. And this is another really good example of an app that uses the remote very well. So this is a little game where I can play and place little orbs to actually blow up other orbs and get points for as many orbs as I blow up. A very casual, lean-back experience that I can use the remote control to enjoy this little game on a television.
Julie: That is pretty cool stuff. So how do developers get their AIR applications onto a television?
Aditya: So when they're in their development and test cycle, you can either use USB or a couple other methods to get, actually, the content onto the device to test it. But when you're ready to actually deploy to a TV or Blu-Ray player, you can go to Samsung's Internet@TV services and upload the app there. After a QA process, it'll be made available onto the television set. So consumers can actually use the Internet@TV button on their Blu-Ray player or their TV to browse, find, and then download content onto their device.
Julie: I notice that you're using a very simple remote. Is that what people are going to have to use to be able to interact with AIR apps on the television?
Aditya: All these apps are kind of built and designed to be used with a remote control. I've heard a lot of people experimenting with Android phones, using the accelerometer, mouse and keyboard inputs, some kind of touch feedback, that sort of stuff. At the end of the day, it's a TV. It's super-simple. Use a remote to keep it simple. This is the most common input, and so it really just lends itself well to the entertainment experience on a TV.
Julie: So it sounds like developers can get started working on this right away.
Aditya: Yeah, absolutely. If you go to adobe.com, in the AIR section there, we have articles on performance optimizations, video optimizations, all sorts of different things that'll help developers learn the tips and tricks needed to build their first TV app.
Julie: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today, Aditya.
Aditya: Yeah, thanks for having me here today.
Julie: So there you have it, AIR for TV. Very exciting. If you want to learn more, visit adobe.com. And in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this edition of the Edge.