I have done a few reviews, but this one has video with it! So if you don't want to read then go ahead and watch my video review of Flash 10.1 Beta 3 on the Revo!
If you do like to read then go ahead and hit the jump for a full written review!
If you have been reading and following RevoHTPC then you will have seen my trials and tribulations with Flash with the Revo. When attempting to review Hulu Desktop I ran into a lot of issues with Flash 10.1 Beta 2, and then someone gave me the suggestion to go back to Beta 1. This was an improvement and allowed youtube, hulu, and internet tv, however it wasn't perfect. Last week Adobe released Beta 3 of Flash 10.1 which uses Hardware acceleration. This allows flash to use the Nvidia ION chip to process the video and not kill the computer.
I started off this test with my normal youtube test, which is the Avatar 1080p trailer. I let if fully buffer before watching it and it was extremely smooth and didn't have a single hitch. I noticed that the CPU usage hovered around 50% which was a bit of an improvement over the earlier beta. I then pulled up the Nvidia 1080p test video and let it stream and play at the same time. This is where I had issues before with youtube, however this time it played just fine.
One of my normal tests is Hulu and Hulu Desktop. I have never had good experiences with the in browser 480p Hulu content, but standard def was fine. This time with the new beta everything streamed perfect. I was able to jump video to video going in and out of full screen mode and every video played back perfect. I booted up Hulu Desktop with high hopes and I was correct, the High Quality full screen videos played great. I watched trailers and episodes and everything was great.
Internet TV inside of Windows Media Center was never great even with Flash 10.1 Beta 1. A few tests with CBS content had a few hitches for the first 30 to 60 seconds. I think this had to do with the video buffering, but after that playback was smooth. Although the quality of these videos aren't as nice as Hulu they are pretty decent. I would still like to see this content switch over to Silverlight like the Zune Video Podcasts are.
I decided to do a bit more testing around the internet to see what else I could try to watch. I headed over to SouthParkStudios.com to watch some South Park episodes. Playback was great and the playback was excellent. They have a nice little Video Connection information screen with different stats. The Current Available Bandwidth was 2300 kbps. Current Video Stream: 1200 kbps with the max being 1200 kbps. From this it seems that the Revo is getting the highest resolution video it possibly can, and it was excellent. I headed over to MTV.com where my girlfriend watches The Hills. I could never seem to get mtv.com to work before, however this time everything was playing nice and smooth in full screen which was a 1700 kbps stream. I tested Vimeo.com, Gametrailers.com, and Ign.com and video playback was near flawless on all three.
During most of the videos I watched I didn't have any recordings going on in my Windows Media Center, but at about half way through my testing a recording did start and playback did not change at all during this time.
Thanks to Flash 10.1 Beta 3 flash has never played so smooth before on my little Revo, so go and download it right now!