Digital Playground's Joone Comments on HTML 5, Blu-ray, 3D

VAN NUYS, Calif. — Digital Playground co-founder Ali Joone said his company will abandon Flash as soon as desktop browsers fully support HTML 5, technology website ConceivablyTech reported.

The competition between Flash and HTML 5 as a development tool has fueled debates as to which format will win out.

Adobe’s Flash has been beleaguered with bugs and critics claim it slows hardware performance. HTML 5 is being lauded as the next step in the evolution of HTML and possibly the death knell for Flash.

Add Apple’s HTML 5-friendly stance for developing applications (for iPhone, iPad, etc.) and the future of Flash looks dim.

Because adult historically drives the acceptance of new technology, gurus are looking toward progressive content providers like Digital Playground as bellwethers for which format will win the war.

“HTML5 is the future,” Joone said. He explained that Digital Playground began offering content for the iPhone more than two years ago and since Apple doesn’t allow porn in its App Store, and Apple’s Safari browser doesn’t support Flash, the natural move was to HTML 5. Digital Playground also uses HTML 5 to stream for mobile devices.

“Mobile browsers run HTML 5 very well. Flash brings everything to a crawl and has an impact on battery life. With HTML 5, there is no reason to show our content in Flash,” Joone said.

He added that although the company still publishes online content in Flash because of browser limitations, as soon as they’re HTML5-ready, "we will move everything to HTML 5.”

“It’s the next passing of the torch,” he added.

Joone also commented on the status of digital content vs. physical DVDs and the affect of Blu-ray discs.

He admitted that the adoption of Blu-ray is slower than expected, due primarily to higher disc costs and limited drives on PCs, but said his big-budget titles do well on the format.

The report said that Digital Playground sells about half of its content online and half on DVD, noting that digital customers are distinctly different from DVD fans.

“Online distribution is especially used by people who want immediate access to content, those who do not want the discs mailed to them because of privacy reasons and those who simply can’t get the media because of legal restrictions in their country.”

Joone said he believes optical media are here to stay and why digital and physical media are complementary for now. “It’s just like a book. You can give it to a friend. You can’t do that with a digital version.”

Joone also noted his thoughts on 3D — a recent hot button in adult production.

He said Digital Playground has been shooting some scenes in 3D as “R&D.” “It looks cool,” he said. “But we watched it on a $5,000 TV and were wearing $100 glasses.”

He compared the experience with a move from “stereo sound to Dolby 5.1” and said that 3D “enhances voyeurism.”

But he questioned market acceptance. “People just bought HDTVs. Will they buy now a 3D TV? No. 3D will see a slow adoption. We will support it, but we are at least two to three years away from mass adoption,” he said.

When asked about the nuisance of wearing 3D glasses, Joone said, “In five years, we will be able to watch 3D without the need of $100-a-pair glasses. And 3D TVs will cost less than $1,000. When that happens, 3D will be a mass experience.”