While we love the convenience of watching our favorite shows on the web anytime we want, we also love the stunning resolution, true colors, and widescreen landscapes of high definition video on an HDTV. We’re video geeks at heart. You know the type of person who insists on driving an extra half hour to see a movie at the theater with the nicest projection system in town? That’s us.
We’ve kept our streaming video bitrates at modest levels to allow as many people as possible to enjoy our videos. But computing power and internet bandwidth continue to increase, and with that comes the promise of widespread High Definition video streaming over the web. We’re as anxious for that day to arrive as anyone.
Thanks to the efficient compression of the H.264 video codec, that day may be coming sooner than anticipated. Today we’re excited to launch an HD Gallery featuring a selection of High Definition video clips at 1280 x 720 resolution. Those of you with a fast internet connection of 2,400 Kbps or higher, the latest build of Adobe Flash Player 9, and a fast computer (check out our system requirements) can stream these High Definition clips and preview the future. We realize the requirements are still fairly hefty, but we know and empathize with those of you who like to stay on the cutting edge and wanted to give you a sneak peek of streaming high definition video.
We’ve limited the bitrates on these HD streams to allow as many users as possible to sample high definition streaming. Even so, we think you’ll agree that the results are a huge step up from what we’re used to seeing on the web. We look forward to a day when this becomes the baseline for video quality on the web, and we plan to play our part in making that a reality.
If you don’t have a fast enough internet connection at home (like me), you can buffer the stream by clicking pause at the start of the video and waiting. Or, you might find that your internet connection at work is fast enough. We’re not necessarily advocating that you watch our videos while you’re supposed to be working, but if you want to take a moment during your lunch break to watch an HD clip or two, we won’t tell.
Eric Feng ()
Hulu tech guy (and CTO)