It was only last month that we questioned whether HD online mattered, and Om asked last summer if web video was ready for an upgrade. From the flurry of recent announcements, it looks like the answer to both question is “yes.”
Forget HD being the hot topic of 2008, it’s the hot topic right now. Here’s a roundup of HD news since just the start of December:
- TechCrunch is reporting that the much-maligned NBC Direct service will incorporate Pando’s P2P technology to enable delivery of HD downloads.
- Swarmcast released its Autobahn HD for Flash.
- Vudu offered HD downloads of The Bourne Ultimatum on the same day the DVD was released.
- Photo-hosting and sharing service provider SmugMug added HD video hosting as part of its offering.
- Transformers director Michael Bay accused Microsoft of fueling the HD vs. Blu-Ray DVD wars so that neither side wins and downloads rule the day.
- Flash Player 9 now offers HD support.
- Hulu started rolling out HD content among its video offerings.
We won’t be immersing ourselves in the lush, vibrant world of HD online quite yet. There are still some technical hurdles to overcome, and in the case of NBC Direct, it remains to be seen if people will suffer the total inconvenience of a clunky download for a sharper picture. But we’re just at the cusp, with lots of solutions and no clear-cut winner.
What do you think. Has HD’s time come? When will it be prevalent? What else needs to happen? Make your thoughts crystal clear in our comments.