I spoke this morning with a friend who is writing an article for a respected trade publication. I know – “why is he talking to Keith,” you’re wondering, if it’s that respectable. Thanks for that. Anyway – his subject was streaming high definition video and he wanted to discuss my thinking on the technical issues. It wasn’t a very long conversation because the technical issues shouldn’t be the subject of the discussion at this point.
While the “D” in HDTV stands for “definition”, I think at this point we should talk about it standing for “dollars”. There is a tendency to allow the true geeks among us to drive the conversation around the nuances of progressive download vs. streaming and is 420p really high-def? Honestly, most people can’t figure out if 720p is better than 1080i on a 52 inch TV and you expect them to know or care on a 15 inch monitor?
Here is a thought – make some money as a business. Generally, that means that you’re doing something right. No one is going to say YouTube is a problem child because they don’t have high-def although the high-quality video they’ve introduced does improve the experience. Generally, most analysts’ concerns with YouTube have to do with the tremendous audience they have and the lack of an accompanying revenue base.
By most industry estimates, you need at least 6 megabits per second of bandwidth to stream HD from the source to your home. Hello? Have you run a speed check on your home pipe lately? The vast majority of us don’t come close to having this capacity. Admittedly there is a “yet” that should be tacked on to that statement but by the time “yet” rolls around the video technology will be someplace else altogether.
Repeat after me: we do the technology because it drives the business, not because it’s cool. Let’s focus on High Dollar TV driven by great content and assure the business survives.