User interface responsiveness in AIR for TV applications

Here’s another design consideration for AIR for TV applications. (This and other tips will be incorporated soon into Adobe online documentation).

Use the following tips to make an AIR for TV application as responsive as possible.

  • Make the application’s initial SWF file as small as possible.

    In the initial SWF file, load only the necessary resources to start the application. For example, load only the application’s startup screen image.

    Although this recommendation is valid for desktop AIR applications, it is more important on AIR for TV devices. For example, AIR for TV devices do not have the equivalent processing power of desktop computers. Also, they store the application in flash memory, which is not as fast to access as hard disks on desktop computers.

  • Make the application run at a frame rate of at least 20 frames per second.

    Design your graphics to achieve this goal. The complexity of your graphics operations can affect your frames per second. For tips on improving rendering performance, see Optimizing Performance for the Adobe Flash Platform.

    Note that the graphics hardware on AIR for TV devices typically updates the screen at a rate of 60 Hz or 120 Hz (60 or 120 times per second). The hardware scans the stage for updates at, for example, 30 frames per second or 60 frames per second for display on the 60-Hz or 120-Hz screen. However, whether the user experiences these higher frame rates depends on the complexity of the application’s graphics operations.

    Stay tuned for an upcoming blog entry discussing what the graphics hardware accelerators on AIR for TV devices do well, and how to take advantage of them.

  • Update the screen within 100 – 200 milliseconds of user input.

    Users become impatient if updates take longer, often resulting in multiple keypresses.

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