updated 04:20 pm EST, Mon February 18, 2008
HD on Web and YouTube
DailyMotion on Monday added HD content to its web video service, becoming one of the first general-purpose web video sites to do so in the more universal Flash format. The France-based service now allows users to both upload and play back up to 720p video without the downsampling that often occurs at these sites. While the feature will generally require a fast single-core or average dual-core processor, a site algorithm can automatically determine whether a video can play at the full resolution or will scale back to standard definition. A 1.6Mbps Internet connection or faster is also required for steady playback regardless of the system's speed, DailyMotion says.
Other sites such as GameTrailers and Stage6 have also offered HD in the past but normally limit their audience to certain users or formats. Stage6 is dependent on the cross-platform but less widespread web version of DivX video for its playback.
The change hands DailyMotion a significant advantage over its chief opponent and market leader YouTube, which has so far maintained standard definition for all its videos. The Google-owned site has so far declined to offer HD and has typically argued that the increased video resolution is less useful on the web than on an HDTV in the living room. However, the relatively recent introduction of YouTube to devices such as the Apple TV have stepped up pressure on YouTube to add an HD option for these viewers, who already have access to HD movie rentals and video podcasts through these media hubs.