Saturday, December 06, 2008

High definition video is coming to the Net

We have seen that new data types become mainstream as technology improves, and high definition video is now becoming available on the Internet.

YouTube is now offering "high definition" video, and NetFlix and others promise to follow soon. These still frames from a YouTube video illustrate the quality improvement.

YouTube claims their high definition video is 720p -- each image is made of 720 horizontal scan lines with every line refreshed in every frame. That would place the quality somewhere between an old style TV set (525 lines, alternatively refreshed every other frame) and high quality new TV sets (1080 lines, refreshed on every frame).

Since YouTube streams video, high definition requires a high speed Internet connection.

Would you be willing to watch 720 line video on a television set? Would you be willing to pay extra for a high speed Internet connection at home if you could watch 720 line movies and television programs? How might this effect movie and television production and distribution?


  1. In my opinion high definition video is a great addition to the world of streaming video. With the upcoming changes requiring either a HD converter or an HD TV to watch broadcast TV, most people will be able to take advantage of streaming HD video. Prices on 720p LCD TV’s are very reasonable today and most offer an easy way to connect a computer to the TV. While bandwidth requirements might prevent some from watching streaming HD video; the average DSL or Cable connection is fast enough. The gap between video rentals at a store or through the mail, versus online sources, will surly decrease as consumers adapt to the changes.

  2. Curious as to why Vimeo doesn't get a mention given they've been offering HD for some time now.

  3. No slight meant to Vimeo -- I singled out YouTube and Netflix because they are mainstream. Are there others I should have mentioned?