The appetite for High Definition content online is growing, driven by consumer demand, an increase in high bandwidth connectivity at the home and content owners looking to extend the reach of growing libraries of HD quality video content.
The Akamai HD Portal for HD online videos launched to the public this morning featuring videos from several networks including BBC, MTV, CBS, Gannett, NBA, and others. http://www.thehdweb.com
You can see from the image above that the images on the homepage of this site are in very high quality flash video. To view the HD videos, you can select either 1280 X 720 or 1920 X 1080. The files, all under 120 MB, will be downloaded to your computer and can be played in Quicktime or Windows Media.
"Both Akamai and Limelight Networks recent announcements of their new HD video delivery solutions are really aimed at laying the groundwork for the future. Today, there is hardly any adoption at all for HD content on the web and I don't expect to see any real adoption for at least another 3 years. While many in the industry say that quality is what's stopping the adoption of video consumption, that is not the case. Three years ago the average broadband video was encoded at 300Kbps, today, it's still 300Kbps. If content owners wanted to increase the quality, they could do so overnight by encoding in 750Kbps. Most don't do that today due to the additional cost they need to pay to deliver those extra bits. With HD, you are delivering on average 6-8x more bits than a 300Kbps file. Until the economics of monetizing video on the web truly happens, the majority of content owners can't justify spending more money to deliver their content in HD. But that does not mean that companies like Akamai and Limelight Networks are too early to the game. They need to build out the service today so that by the time HD delivery is an offering more content owners need, they are already experienced in how they will scale their networks to handle the additional demand."
You should download and read Akamai's whitepaper on HD on the Web