As video hosts like Vimeo and content delivery networks like Akamai bet on a Web full of hi-def video, some of their potential customers seem less excited. AOL is scrapping its “Hi-Q” video service, NewTeeVee reports, because no one ever watched it. And CBS Interactive’s Quincy Smith seems to be in no hurry to run HD video on his sites: He tells the blog that for now, at least, video watchers care a lot more about speed than video quality.
Two things need to happen for HD video to take off.
• It needs to be easier to use: No poorly designed P2P apps, no plugins that won’t work in Firefox or on a Mac.
• More important: More consumers need to subscribe to Internet connections that can support both quality and speed. When will that happen? It’s already starting as telcos like Verizon and AT&T replace slow DSL lines with faster fibre-optic lines, and as cable companies like Comcast start to speed up their Internet offerings. But in the short term, cable and satellite TV services — not Web sites — will dominate the HD market, and the most-watched Internet videos will still be quick and grungy.
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