[qi:032] YouTube co-founder Steve Chen during an onstage chat at our NewTeeVee Live conference responded to our questions about video quality by saying that YouTube will boost the quality of the videos, but not at the expense of user experience. Buffering and video playback delays were an anathema to the popular destination site, and YouTube would be careful about how it tackled the issue of video quality.
The company was experimenting with ways to gauge the speed of broadband connections and improve the video quality accordingly, he said. He told C/Net WebWare that this technology would be available widely over the next three months. Somehow it all got misconstrued into YouTube offering high-definition videos on their site, an erroneous message that was repeated quite a few times, and eventually settling into a debate about high-definition vs. high-quality videos.
What matters more? It all depends on the screen the video is destined for, opined panelists on my Network Makeover panel preceding our conversation with Steve. They were almost unanimous in pointing out that that HD video on a PC screen doesn’t matter.
Verizon’s Jeff Harris summed it up best when he said that resolution is dependent on the destination screen. A big plasma screen should get HD video, but most laptop screens don’t need HD and you can’t really tell the difference between higher quality and HD videos on, say, a 14- or 15-inch screen. Cisco’s Kip Compton rightfully pointed out that the trend is towards higher quality. I think that is something we can all agree upon.
What do you think? What is the minimum acceptable quality you want from your web video?