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AppRising delivers insight into new broadband applications, exploring their impact on networks and their implications for public policy.

AppRising is written by Geoff Daily, who covers broadband applications and the business of online video. Based in Washington, DC, Geoff regularly advises applications developers, network operators, community leaders, and public officials on how to maximize adoption and use of the Internet.

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October 31, 2007 11:25 AM

The Web Goes HD

Don't know how I missed this but on Monday, Akamai introduced a new portal showcasing HD video called The HD Web.

In talking with some folks out here at the Video on the Net conference, I learned that Akamai had long been trying to convince it's customers that the HD opportunity was there and waiting for them, but they were having trouble convincing people that that was the case. So, they decided to go ahead and create a portal stocked with HD content to show rather than just tell people.

In this NewTeeVee article an Akamai representative admits that only 10-20% of their customers have the necessary technical requirements to access this HD video properly, but that's not the point: they just want to show it can be done.

So what do you need to enter into a world of HD Internet video powered by Akamai? An Internet connection of more than 7.5Mbps and a computer outfitted with a minimum of a 2.4GHz processor, 384MB of RAM, and a 64MB video card.

Not surprisingly, this initiative is sponsored in some fashion by Verizon FiOS. The fiber industry has long been searching for the killer app that will highlight the benefits of all that bandwidth, and perhaps HD video will be it.

Whether or not this initiative actually goes anywhere in the near term considering how small the audience is who has this connectivity, and the expense involved with delivering HD video (easy way to think of it is this: the more bits to transfer the more it costs to deliver).

But it certainly is an interesting trend that bears watching over the coming months. Especially in light of a recent announcement by Akamai competition Limelight Networks who unveiled high definition content delivery for the web last week.


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