Any of you who are au fait with the selection of video streaming sites out there will know that YouTube is generally regarded to be the most well-known – although not necessarily the best for quality.
So why has YouTube been slower to market with better-quality videos? Well, certainly from a volume perspective, YouTube’s video traffic is indescribably big – I would imagine larger than several of the competing sites on the ‘long tail’, put together. But then again, with seemingly infinite resources at their disposal, it’s just a question of hardware and bitpipes to accept, store, encode, and serve the videos.
Maybe it’s a strategy thing – rather than needing to be a first-mover (as YouTube previously was), it can now sit down and watch what it’s rivals do – then do something to blow them all away.
Who knows ultimately, save for those charged with rolling out the new ‘HD’ service. However, at this juncture, my thoughts turn to the Mobile side of things…
YouTube have long had a profiling system in place for the browser/application that is connecting to their service. For each incoming video that is uploaded by users, a number of versions of that video are generated, and then depending on what connects to it, the right version of the video is served – this is how the iPhone streams from YouTube look so good, whereas those you get to other Mobile devices are of a more ‘basic’ quality.
But with the advent of HD, can we expect a multitude of new profiles, to account for those devices that have WiFi, High-def screens, and massive memory? Are we even going to know those profiles exist? They haven’t to-date, and why should YouTube start letting you select what you get?
There’s definitely an argument for better quality on Mobile devices now though – people’s appetite for great quality video has been through a step-change – much like the jump that occurred analogously in the world of TV, when people saw VHS video compared with DVD.
Over the next 18 months we are going to see further big jumps in the storage, screens, and connectivity of Mobile devices – and at some point all video-serving companies are going to have to consider whether they want to give the Mobile user a better experience, rather than being the (very) poor relation of the Internet browser on a PC or Mac.
[Original news item via: HDTVUK.TV]