Apple flash snub "deeply annoying", says ABC exec

By Brett Winterford on May 25, 2010 10:51 AM
Filed under Software

Effort to port iView to iPad, mobile devices by end of year.

ABC executives have described Apple's decision to abandon Flash as "deeply annoying", but nonetheless plan to re-engineer the television station's iView service to build an app for the iPad, among other wireless devices.

Delivering a visionary speech on content in an NBN-enabled world at the CeBIT expo yesterday, the broadcaster's manager of new services Chris Winter showcased several ABC online initiatives - some of which were based on Adobe technologies.

Asked what he thought of Apple's decision to abandon Flash, Winter said the decision was "deeply annoying".

"Broadly speaking, it's why putting [on-demand TV service] iView on the iPhone has taken a little bit longer," he said.

The ABC's iView service was developed using Adobe's Flash tools, but the broadcaster recently switched to H.264 as its video streaming format.

Arul Baskaran, acting head of multiplatform production at the broadcaster said that ABC is also building feed-based applications and widgets that use H.264 video streaming - "not just for Apple, but as part of our strategy on connected TV, set top box and emerging platforms."

The broadcaster will also consider HTML5 for its rich online content "further down the road", but is sticking with Adobe Flash for now.

Baskaran told iTnews the ABC would like to offer iView as a widget/application on a range of mobile devices and internet-connected televisions by the end of the year.

"We'll also be working on an iPad implementation, and looking at mobile," he said, the interface for which will be written in Objective-C rather than Flash, due to Jobs' ban on Flash.

Baskaran said it was important to weigh up audience reach and development effort.

"We aim to be platform-agnostic so that we can play and integrate with a number of services," he said.

"We also have to ask how much of an audience a given platform will reach, but balance that with that part of our remit that says we should be at the cutting edge of innovation."

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