The Internet is abuzz this morning with news that YouTube has added “HD-quality” video to its site. Not to be confused with the “higher-quality” stuff they’ve had before, this is supposedly the real deal.
Reports had surfaced a few weeks back that YouTube was stealthily launching this higher and deffer service on select videos such as the Where the Hell is Matt world dance jam. Techcrunch writes today that to see it for yourself, instead of hunting around, just visit YouTube and do a search for “HD” and a bunch of videos will pop up. One NTV commenter gave us a link to his work that shows just how good the new HD option is. See screen grabs below.
YouTube NOT in HD
YouTube in HD
While other sites that have HD options like Vimeo and Dailymotion aren’t much of a threat to YouTube’s dominance in the online video market, the writing was on the wall. Grainy, crappy versions of clips weren’t going to cut it in a high-definition world, especially as web video starts migrating to the television.
And what a difference a year makes. At NewTeeVee Live 2007, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen said that higher-quality video was not as important as having as many people as possible watching video. Maybe YouTube feels that 344 million uniques a month is enough, because in recent months they’ve reversed that stance, offering “higher quality” at first, then widescreen.
The new, polished look goes well with the new, polished professional content YouTube’s been getting from the studios.