French video sharing site DailyMotion announced this morning its support for high definition video sharing. After Apple’s recent movie rental rehaul (and the support for high definition access for a dollar more), and Vimeo being the first video sharing site to announce its support for HD video, this is the third major video player to follow (and I can bet there will be many more coming.)
Technically, the way that this works is that any video that is encoded in high-definition and uploaded to DailyMotion is automatically reincoded by DailyMotion into 720P HD. Users can then view it in HD, or if the bandwidth doesn’t allow smooth playback for them, switch back to regular video — something DailyMotion alerts the viewer if that’s the case.
A personal belief of mine is that the future isn’t with HD-DVD or Bluray, but with HD itself — delivered over the Internet, and accessed in various ways (TV, mobile, web, software, etc.) And it seems that, with the series of announcements we’ve had over the last couple months, this belief may not be far off. If the Apple TV-Movie Rentals isn’t an indicator of consumer adoption in such a future, I think there will be more to come.
An important key factor that shouldn’t be overlooked is obviously, bandwidth. If we are to ditch our cable subscriptions and carry solely an Apple TV for our TV shows and movies, we better be able to watch a piece of content without having to wait 10 hours for it to download. And while this varies by country, I still think we have a few years left to go till we are able to get to that level.
In the end, I think any step we take towards high definition — be it DailyMotion, Vimeo, or iTunes — is a step in the right direction. We might not get there in 5 years or even a decade, but if all we’re allowed to deal with is pixelated YouTube videos, then it’s posible we’ll probably never get there. And like Marshall Kirkpatrick, this leaves me to wonder when YouTube plans to do HD content. I want my HD, darn it!