Cuban: High-def may kill the Internet video star

Cuban: High-def may kill the Internet video star

Summary: Mark Cuban, gave a presentation at the UBS media and communications conference Thursday, and walked through the future of high-definition television and what it means for TV and Internet video. Cuban owns HDNet and is admittedly partial to high-def video.

TOPICS: Hardware

Mark Cuban, gave a presentation at the UBS media and communications conference Thursday, and walked through the future of high-definition television and what it means for TV and Internet video.

Cuban owns HDNet and is admittedly partial to high-def video. "When you have a hammer everything looks like a nail. High-def is my hammer," said Cuban. See Barron's Tech Trader Daily for another recap

Nevertheless, he did touch on some key crossroads where HDTV, TV and Internet video meet.

Crossroad 1: The move to high-definition will raise the bar of what consumers expect. Cuban argued that HDTV will raise expectations of what a video viewing experience should be. Once HDTV becomes the norm it's going to be really hard to watch footage shot on tape. That means some TV networks will fall away because it costs too much--or will be impossible--to convert tape to digital. The argument: Will people watch VH1 Classic if they aren't high-def.

Crossroad 2: If consumers expect HDTV quality for every video that could spell trouble for Internet video, which at best is TV quality. According to Cuban, Internet video is going to be limited to reaching an audience at their PCs during the day. "The hammer will be the big screen TV in the living room," argued Cuban.

Crossroad 3: Couldn't high-def quality eventually be streamed? Cuban argues that it would take some big pipes--8 to 10 megabytes per second--to stream high-def video. That's not going to happen anytime soon.

The big question is whether you buy all Cuban's pitch. Personally, the only time I really miss high-def is when watching sports. Otherwise, I don't care all that much. Meanwhile, different expectations will be set for various distribution methods. I don't expect TV quality out of YouTube or a sports stream at my desk. However, if everyone gets addicted to high-def quality Internet video could start looking like black and white movies.

Topic: Hardware

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  • don't buy your propreganda garbage

    When countries in Europe to Hong Kong have bandwidth speeds of 100 MB to 1 GB, it seems our blazing fast speeds look like 14.4 kbps. If we had less regulation or something that would help increase our internet speeds by leaps and bounds, then we could enjoy the speeds EVERYONE else is enjoying, HD videos could easily be streamed and enjoyed and less BS from corporations who's hording all our potential to better internet speeds
  • I think he is way ahead of himself

    People have been happily watching really really crappy quality videos (myself included) on the web for a long time now. The 200X150 at 12 fps to conserve bandwidth, etc. Watch any YouTube video, the quality is generally not very good. Fortunatly, the internet is still about substance and not fluff. The videos on the web (the popular ones) may not be the greatest quality, but content is second to none.

    I would hate to see a corporate takeover where high quality video of crap (analagous to "popular music" where form over substance has taken over) replaces or drives away amatuer mediocre quality of great content.

    I am not sure what he means by HDTV being the hammer. Point of fact, my old 27" 4:3 used to be where I watched my movies, still is for almost everyone. You just don't see many families clustered around the home PC watching movies, it's usually in the living room.

    Now, if he is talking about actual movies on the PC, that was dead in the water with or without HDTV, again, because my family watches movies in the living room, not huddled around my PC. Amazingly enough Televisions still rule the roost for watching movies and PCs rule the roost for surfing the web.

  • I guess nobody watches the old classic Black and Whites movies

    According to his thinking no one watches old black and white movies.

    If you watch the shows on TV Land you can see the difference in the video on those old shows but guess they are still good.

    I will take good story over more pixels any day.

    A bad movie is a bad movie even in HI Def.
    • Now stop that...

      [B]A bad movie is a bad movie even in HI Def.[/B]

      People aren't supposed to know this. :-D Everyone should run out and buy the remake of "The Dukes of Hazzard" on blue ray for their 50" HDTV because stunning picture quality is all that matters.

      Seriously though, I am still trying to decipher what HDTV in the living room has to do with killing video on the internet.

      • Deciphered...maybe?

        "Seriously though, I am still trying to decipher what HDTV in the living room has to do with killing video on the internet."

        Well, I think his mistake is assuming the pic quality matters that much. My current tv is just fine, thanks. Of more concern to the consumer is that HDTV will eventually be encrypted & DRM'd...i.e. "DVD Jon" will have a harder time with it. And when easy copying of videos is shut down...what does that do?:

        a) Creates a larger market for quality content by non-Hollywood types...the Indies - who don't charge an arm and a leg, nor use DRM.
        b) Creates a DRM'd market for Hollywood content.

        Which do *you* think will be more popular with the public?
  • Low def is better than no def

    I think YouTube has proven that people want to watch video so badly that they will watch some tiny screen just to see videos they can't get elsewhere. People want high resolution video if possible, but they want any video if they can get it.
  • Where do I get "Dukes" in High-def. :-)

    Seriously, this is the thinking that Hollywood used when they created $100 million "blockbusters" that were out sold by "March of the Penguins.

    And I don't understand why he says we don't have streaming video. I have streaming video at home, it is called "cable."
  • internet hd has great future - guaranteed

    Cuban oviously wants to fend everyone to buy more time for him to figure it out...
    Here is how the issues will be resolved:
    1. hd video compression resulting in 30% less bandwidth than cuban claims
    2. increase in high-speed internet resulting in min. twice current high-speed DSL
    3. up-converting the signal - 720p to 1080i - I've seen a clear improvement in perception of quality resulting in higher acceptance
    Cuban lost his mojo and is now trying to drown others with him.
    Only a fool would listen to such a sore looser
  • Cuban the lucky one...

    It's amazing what getting a little lucky can get you, sell your weak early web idea to some obviously medicated executives for billions. Buy a basketball team and think you are the sultan of IT and prognosticator of all things tech. NOT. Mark Cuban in this prediction shows we he is Donald Trump put it "not a winner".

    1) HD has been available on the pc for almost 10 years. Yes...if you think about it one running a screen resolution above 1280 x 1024 is already enjoying resolution highier than HD. Sure it's in the form of what applications run on their desktop but it is high res. none the less. In fact when you play "HD" video on my screen (I run at 1600 x 1200) it shows in a tiny window. So pc viewers are used to high quality video.

    2) Broadband continues to get faster, video streams online will be able to be delivered with highier quality, which means larger play size (resolution), less compression (detail) or both. This is what happened in the past and it will continue to as bandwidth to the home increases.

    3) A major reason why broadband to the home will always be able to accomodate the quality that people want in their audio/video is something that happened about 6 years ago. The availability of DWDM switches are allowing ISP's and telecoms to literally be able to provide near infinite bandwidth by simply allocating new lambda's on their existing fiber lines. This means to affect orders of magnitude increases in bandwidth providers will no longer have to go through the expensive process of relaying cable. Bye bye to a huge running cost that existed with previous copper wiring and fiber wiring before the advent of DWDM. Yes..Mr. Cuban FTTP (fiber to the premises) is going to allow bandwidth delivery to the home that will rival even your beloved HD resolutions in only a few short years.

    Internet video is here to say, what will happen is continued convergence of TV and internet. Digital TV's with very high resolution screens will allow the playing of local HD signal sources (HDVD's) or remote ones internet streams, digital cable ..etc. Ironically, the TV will have to make with the internet to survive as a medium of first choice for video content ..NOT the other way around. Mark Cuban has missed the mark yet again.
  • "I miss my IPOD already!"

    Could someone please bring us back to reality here!
    Mark, we know you would love to have us all in our living room 24/7, but there's just too much (hint:mobility) out there!

    (Shame on you Mark...just concentrate on your content and you'll make your next billion. We promise to watch if it's decent!)
  • RE: Cuban: High-def may kill the Internet video star

    I have a TV. I get free programs from local TV station. Advertisers pay for it. I like it that way. If the local TV station wants to change their station so I can't watch them, ok. I just won't watch their station anymore. If the government forces them to change their station or go out of business then I can't watch TV programs or advertisement; it just doesn't seem right. I will get my news from newspapers and use my TV for DVD/VCR viewing. If my congressman voted for such a thing he/she will not receive my next vote.