LG SmartTVs, Adobe AIR 3.0 and App Test

UPDATE: starting from January 1st 2013 LG no more supports AIR…
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Adobe says that the Flash Platform is really suitable for a pletora of platforms and that the smart TVs are a turning-point into the framework roadmap. But if you search on the web you only find the Adobe announcements and some video on the Adobe TV site…

At the time I’m writing (this post will become obsolete in a while) I want to deploy the last Creeo’s app on the TV. It’s a Starling-based game but… Which smart TVs support AIR 3.0 today? (May 2012) Only the LG ones! Ok but which LGs? Moreless you have to guess, I’m not joking…
I faced those doubts/problems all my own (with some problems) so it’s time to share my little experience with the hope of helping someone.

Just two months before of my LG purchase I’d bought a Samsung smart TV because we (Creeo Studio) strongly believe in this platform. So I would to start developing apps on my Samsung device (the most smart tvs-believer manufacturer) but unfortunately the most widespread version of AIR is the 2.5.
That was a problem because the Flash Platform was moving totally to the incredible-performance Stage3D APIs and our game was a Starling-based one. Iuppla (the game I was developing, a collection of games for kids was developed with Starling due to the early mobile support offered by AIR 3.2.

So I spammed some friends of mine and some Adobe evangelists, Allen Ellison said me that the first manufacturer supporting Starling (so all the Stage3D APIs) was LG Electronics.
Well, register to the LG Developer Lounge, read all the docs, read all the posts in the forum, ask help for some doubts…
After some time I found what I needed: all the 2012 devices will support AIR 3.0! Perfect!

When we speak about the smart TVs Blu ray players and set-up boxes are included as well so I bought a Blu ray player, a cheaper device than a (another) new TV.
On the docs there was this note:

My BDP arrived than I’d tested it and… nothing ran… The BDP doesn’t read my USB-installed apps and I can’t login with my LG account…

In the next few days I contacted the support receiving this reply:

Well, let me say: I’m disappointed a lot with the LG support. I think that a dedicated team doesn’t exist (as always: today) and the same developers with lot of stuff to do have to support the community. I think that because the forum is full of non-replied posts, they reply with monosyllables, the infos aren’t clear, you wait for a long time before some support… this is the reason why I’d to face all my own.

So, I gave back the BDP and I want a 2012 LG TV 🙁
Problem n°1: in the device gallery no 2012 TVs appeared

Problem n°2: I have just a few days before of an important italian conference where I’d to speak about TV development

Hurry up! I searched all around the web, the 2012 TVs are coming but they’re unavailable. But more important: which are the 2012 devices? After searches on multimedia’s blog and comparing the TVs reported as “new” on the LG site for the users (………….) I found a TV that should be ok, the 32LM660S! Other runs to find it, my time was running out…

When I received the TV I’d lot of doubts on the effective AIR 3.0 support but… but all was ok and in a few minutes my app was on the TV.

About the App Test: the workflow to test you’re apps on the real device are very simple
– rename your airi file (airi, not air, you have to leave the app unsigned) to zip
– upload it onto the App Test page
– select the main swf from the exploded package as the “Main Run File” (you’ve to wait that the site upload your app)
– upload a 200×200 PNG as the icon
– confirm that, wait a few seconds, refresh the page and your app is ready to be downloaded
– create on an USB key the folders “lgapps\installed
– download the app, unzip it, you will see a folder names with a number , move it to an USB key under the just created folders “lgapps\installed”
– switch on the TV, login with your LG Apps acoount (a standard one, not the developer one)
– connect your USB into the 2nd USB port
– go to “My Apps” panel on the TV, an arrow appears and in the next apps page you will find all the apps that are on the USB key
– enjoy

Just a note: the LG TV completely ignore your background color of the SWF, so if you want a background color different from the black… you have to add a shape on the display list, I hope in the future this bug will be resolved.

What about the performance? Well, I’m positively surprised! Compare it with the other devices:
– iPhone 3GS: 60 FPS
– iPhone 4: 60 FPS
– iPhone 4s: 60 FPS
– iPad 2: 60 FPS
– Samsung Nexus S: 55 FPS
– Asus EEE Transformer (1st generation): 45 FPS (still to optimize)
LG 32LM660S: 45 FPS

To give you one more comparison: my 2011 Samsung UE23D65000 SmartTV had very poor performance also with soft apps. I think that the 2012 models will be the first ones with decent hardware, the previous ones were only a standard TVs with apps installed on them.

Note that LG introduces the Magic Remote, a mix between a Wii Remote and a mouse. Obviously the TV dispatch standard flash.events.MouseEvent events for the remote interaction.

That’s all, let me know if you need some help and I hope this post could be useful to you.

Links:
Creeo Studio
Starling
LG Developer Lounge

55 thoughts on “LG SmartTVs, Adobe AIR 3.0 and App Test

  1. First let me say thank you!!! I just like you… keep searching the web for info on AIR 3.0 and all I find is spammed Adobe forums with old AIR 2.5 posts…

    Your article gives me hope that AIR 3.0 will come to most Smart TVs.
    If you don’t mind, I have some questions as you seem to know more about this than anyone else on the web.

    1. Do you know if Adobe is planning to support other vendors and other TVs? Like Samsung? … ot will it only be LG that is supported? Is this something Adobe is perusing?

    2. If you did a Video on the whole process from compiling to running your app on LG you will be a Godsend.. (I would even pay for it)… since I (just like you) would go and get the LG 32LM660S asap and begin my tests… but just need a bit more details on the whole process. I am sure you would gets LOTS of hits on YouTube for such a video because no such thing exists today.

    THANK YOU AGAIN, for sharing…. Sean!!!!!!!!

    • You’re welcome, and thanks for the congrats, I was sure someone would be loved this post 🙂
      BTW:

      1 – yes, in the latter of the year (2012) the Samsung TVs should support AIR 3.0. In the 2013 all the TVs will support AIR 3.0 but it’s a long way 😉
      Consider that the actual SmartTVs have ridicolous hardware, the LGs are the first with decent hardware (dual core 512MHz)

      2 – it could be great! I can’t say you when I’ll do it… in the while, if you want to register to the LG site and convert the app for the TV (follow my instructions, it’s very very very easy trust me) I can test your app on my TV 😉 let me know

  2. It seems the model 32LM660S is not available in the US. Any other TV / device you recommend that can be ordered in the US?

    thanks!!!

    • I think so, I’ve serached on the web and all the TV reviews are 2012 dated… more: the support of the TV is the 2012 one… just to be sure: if you can call some physical retail and ask them if the TV is really a 2012 one. I’m 99% sure, but just to avoid to throw away your money… as I did with the BP…

    • You’re right Jozef, but also Samsung is going to embrace AIR 3.0. Until now I don’t know the exact roadmap but in September I should have more info about it 😉
      Stay tuned

        • Beginning 2013, I can’t be more precise but I know that, like LG, they’ve signed to bring AIR 3.0 on their TVs. In the meanwhile they’re making good-HW TVs, take a look at their top-products specs

          • Any news on the new LG Google TV’s, like the 55G2 or the 47G2?

            Also for LG does any of the models above the 32LM660S, like 55LM8600 work with Air 3.0?

          • The GoogleTV is nothing more than a version of Android for TVs so AIR 3.0 is already compatible with it.

            For the LG models: all the 2012 (and above) LG models support AIR 3.0

  3. i will pay you if you publish a video showing how to test on TV an air 3.0 app 🙂

    so far i can only test air 2.5 apps on a LM6700 tv =/

    i’ve tried all the tips you have included but with air 3 the apps closes itself

    any idea?

      • oh this is bad, read the forum, latest posts says LG has dropped flash support for 2013 on Smart TV

        i’m going to kill myself now

      • wait wait… there’s a big difference between Flash apps and AIR apps… and LG today allows you to upload both the kind of apps. It sounds right remove the “Flash apps” type but accept “AIR apps”. I asked more info, I’ll let you know

        • Noriste, i’m trying to reach you because LG confirmed they won’t accept more flash or air apps at some point on 2013. But i think we can convince them to keep flash support because they simply run a lot faster on the TV than HTML5 apps, i’m making 2 games and i know other several developers working on more flash games for Smart TV and they are all looking great, i’m sure we can do something! my email: israel cerebralgames dot c-o-m

  4. Do you know if LG Smart TV upgrader ST600 could work for Adobe Air 3? Toshiba model 50L2200U purchased + the above tv upgrader (we were told when purchasing that we would be able to download from Internet & watch videos But have not been able to do so). Any suggestions or return tv & grt one that will work

    • Hi Fotis, I’m waiting some replies from Adobe, LG won’t, Samsung hasn’t still confirmed…

      But the good news is that… yes, GoogleTV is compatible… have you seen the GoogleTV proliferation at the CES 2013? 🙂 I haven’t tested yet but I’m 99% sure

  5. So what is the point for Adobe AIR for TV anyway if TV manufacturers keep rejecting it? If samsung drops it too or does not upgrade to 3.0 that leaves us with only Google TV sets. And maybe not all of them. I have previously run into android phones that were not compatible with AIR. That could be the case for some Google TVs too.

    Do we know if Google TVs have access to Google Play? How will someone be able to install the AIR runtime?

    • The actual point isn’t well-defined. I’m knocking to the Adobe’s doors to have some more information, I’ll update you as soon as I can. I don’t think Samsung will drop AIR but until now I’m not 100% sure that they will upgrade (or better: when they will upgrade) to the 3.0 version.

      Don’t care about AIR on the Play Store because you should embed AIR with your app (with the captive runtime) and not rely on the store version. For Android is the same: there’s a min version for AIR and also if a few number of devices in the world not supporting AIR exist I don’t care about it, perhaps they’re the 1% of the market, isn’t it?

      • Actually on the non supporting air devices I couldn’t embed AIR on my app either. The app kept crashing on startup. After further research I have found out that the reason was either unsupported CPU architecture or screen resolution.

        I am not sure that is that a small percentage as the devices I have run into are not so rare here.

        Are you aware if Gooogle TVs allows third party apps to be installed? I have never had a close experience with Google TV.

        • Could you list me some devices please?

          About GoogleTV: I haven’t bought one yet but the OS has the Play Store as every Android device 😉
          developers.google.com/tv/android

  6. Hello, i’ve been trying to upload the demo made by hsharma with no luck. I upload it as a Flash application, following your tips, but it keeps sending me this message: This application is not correctly embedded (wrong wmode value)
    Have you seen this problem? Do you know how to fix it?
    Thanks in advance

      • Yes, i set the wmode in different parts in Flash Builder.
        I tried to make a Flash Project and an Air Project with no luck.
        In the Flash project i added this lines (in the right places) in index.template.html:
        params.wmode = “direct”;
        attributes.wmode = “direct”;

        For the Air Project i added this in the xml:

        direct
        ….

        Also, in the code i put this in the start code
        [SWF(wmode=”direct”,frameRate=”60″,width=”1280″, height=”720″,backgroundColor=”0x990099″)]

        None of these things have worked… is like the Smart TV is not reading the html or the xml, so it doesn’t know that the wmode is direct.

        How did you solve it? where did you establish the wmode, so the TV can interpretate it?

        Thanks, i really appreciate your help.

  7. The message didnt showed right (cause of the tags) .. i will write again the lines for Flash and for Air. ( i’ll replace the tags for [ ] )
    For Flash Project (in the html):

    params.wmode = “direct”;
    attributes.wmode = “direct”;
    [ param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true” /]
    [param name=”wmode” value=”direct”/]

    For The Air Project (in xml):
    [initialWindow]
    [renderMode]direct [/renderMode]

    The question is the same…

  8. Yes, your app worked!!!… im really happy to see starling running and that the TV model is not the issue.
    So… there’s something you are doing to declare the wmode that im not doing in my apps, what could it be, where did you establish that?

  9. i take a look at your configuration XML an added all the tags i didn’t have… but it didn’t worked… im using Air 3.4 … could that be the problem?

      • It didn’t worked again…
        i notice that the stats (FPS) showed different in your app.
        I can see the stats in my app (with the wmode error) but they showed a graph with the FPS (the stats in your app didnt showed the graph)
        Are we using a different version of Flash builder? im using 4.7, but also tried with 4.6 and the error is the same.

        Can you export a basic project in Flash Builder that uses starling and work on Smart TV? This way i can test it in Flash Builder and see whats the difference
        It can help a lot to solve this problem…
        If not, any other advice would help so i can get to the bottom of this issue… thanks again

        • Don’t look at the stats, lot of them exist 😉

          For the project: it could took me some hours and I don’t know when I could test it… as far as I remember I tested launching the app from Flash CS5.5 and not Flash Builder because i was making some tests and in Flash Pro it was faster to switch AIR versions and publich in a while… but I opened the Flash Pro file and it told me that I can’t point the 2.6 version of AIR so I have some doubts about the configuration I used…

          Out of curiosity: why are you trying to have your app running on the LG if LG no more support AIR this year? 🙂

  10. Thanks, this helped me a lot.

    Why does the app test page have an Air option and a Flash option if the Air option does not work?

    I have asked someone at support at LG for some clearer answers on Air support, will share his responses when I get them.

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