Okay, so Flash Player 10.2 beta has been available on Adobe Labs for a good few days now, and if you haven’t already installed the beta then it might just worth your while.

The biggest addition in 10.2 is Stage Video hardware acceleration, which should see CPU usage significantly reduced, enable higher frame rates, and reduce memory usage. Unlike traditional video playback, Stage Video does not sit inside Flash’s display list. Instead it sits behind the stage and takes full advantage of the underlying video hardware, maximising performance.

Sites such as YouTube are actively embracing Flash Player 10.2 and Stage Video, but if you want to take advantage of it in your own Flash projects you’ll actually need to re-write your existing video playback code. To be honest, it’s not a huge amount of effort and you should find both Thubault Imbert’s ‘Getting started with stage video’ and Mihai Corlan’s ‘Working with Stage Video’ perfect articles for learning how to do it.

Sticking with video, you’ll also be pleased to know that 10.2 also has support for full-screen mode with multiple monitors. So what exactly does this mean? Well, full-screen content will now remain in full-screen on a secondary monitor even while you work away on your other screen. Nice one Adobe!

Also of interest, is the native custom mouse cursor support that has also made it into Flash Player 10.2. You no longer need to hide the native mouse cursor and replace it with a movie clip equivalent that is locked to your SWF’s frame rate. Now you have full ActionScript control over the appearance of the native mouse cursor. For a tutorial, head back over to Mihai Corlan’s blog.

So some worthy additions. Remember it’s still in beta at the moment but definitely worth giving Flash Player 10.2 a spin.