Above is a screenshot from Hulu, where the 480p video plays smoothly on the PlayBook. Now let’s see how quickly Hulu blocks the PlayBook, forcing people to sign up for Hulu Plus. (We’ve reached out to Hulu for comment, but haven’t heard back.)
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball’s Flash-based MLB.TV also looks good and works OK on the PlayBook. Netflix, which uses Microsoft’s Silverlight software, does not work on the PlayBook.
There are some issues with Flash-based user interfaces — they aren’t designed for touchscreens, so there are some issues when typing is required, etc. And browsing the web in general is awkward on the PlayBook. But, specifically, the Flash video at least plays back smoothly in our brief testing.
It’s hard to tell how Flash video is affecting the PlayBook’s battery, but this is potentially the biggest concern. We’ll try to perform additional tests on this in the future.
If the PlayBook had launched a long time ago with this quality of Flash video support, that could have been a real advantage over the iPhone and iPad, which don’t support Flash. But these days, almost all the video worth watching on an iPad is available through an app.
It’s hard to see Flash video support being the reason someone would buy a PlayBook over an iPad, but it’s nice to see that it works.
Here’s another screenshot of Hulu on the PlayBook: