Akamai launched it's new site, HD Web today which is a promotion between Akamai and Fios to show off HD content. What's interesting about this approach is that it isn't HD content on the web, it's actually downloadable HD content
using a Peer-2-Peer delivery model Update: I just got this in an email: theHDWeb does not use any P2P technology. We are organically supporting this showcase with our distributed architecture and HD optimized servers. We ARE very interested in using our "hyperedge" (RedSwoosh) technology with future versions of theHDWeb.
. Sorry! The library of content is impressive. Andy Plesser had the scoop but the people providing content include the BBC, MTV, CBS and the NBA.
Currently the previews are being shown in Flash but the downloadable content is in WMV format or QuickTime. I haven't tried playing the QuickTime files in the new H.264 supported Flash Player so I'm not sure they'll work. While I think HD video is great and the quality difference is spectacular, I don't know that downloads will ultimately rule the day. On the one hand it makes perfect sense to download HD quality programming and then play it back on your TV. For that you want the absolute best quality you can get. For web streaming you may be willing to deal with a lower bandwidth, lower quality solution just because the screen is smaller. But with video game stations like the Xbox 360 and PS3, not to mention the number of media centers out there, the ability to stream HD content over the web will be important. That's where plugins like Flash and Silverlight come in so handy.
I'm in rural Japan right now on a very slow (borrowed) wi-fi connection and I got the error message about low bandwith when checking out the site. The preview video I saw looked great but there's no way I can check out the regular stuff until I get back to Tokyo.