Ive had an interesting conversation privately in the last couple of hours in relation to my previous post on YouTube looking to provide HD videos. The contention comes down to exactly what was meant when Steve Chen of YouTube told CNet that “high quality” videos were coming to YouTube.
Liz Gannes over at NeeTeeVee contends that high quality doesn’t mean HD, and argues that the context of the quote is YouTube simply providing a higher quality video than they are currently doing. Gannes noted that levels below 720p can be “high quality”, but not high definition, and yet I cant help than wonder; isn’t high quality in a HD age really high quality, quality at the top of the spectrum of choices? Is marketing a service as “high quality” when it’s not HD somewhat misleading to customers when they would naturally link to two?
The exact format of YouTube’s “high quality” video offering is yet to be seen, but given the growing number of competitors now offering HD it would certainly be strange of YouTube to ignore HD as an option in the future. Bandwidth still limits accessibility to all but no one is arguing that HD isn’t where all content is eventually heading. YouTube still leads the market by a long way, but standing still (not providing HD) as the market evolves around it would not be a good long term strategy to maintain this lead.
Update: Liz has a post up on this now here.
Update 2: pointed out to me that 480 is generally termed “standard definition” which you’d presume wouldn’t be at the top of the high quality spectrum either. Perhaps the problem is a need for a set of standard definitions.