HD war breaks out as Facebook, YouTube deliver new features

Tonight an HD war online broke out. YouTube appears to have turned on HD video. Now Facebook jumps into the fray with true 720p HD 16:9 widescreen video. This is HUGE for those of us who have HD camcorders.

But also Vimeo and SmugMug have turned on HD video before.

Why is this important? Well, a bunch of people just received their Canon 5D Mark II cameras that do HD video. So does the Nikon D90. Look at the video that SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill did with his. That shows off SmugMug’s HD goodness.

Or look at Joi Ito’s videos from his 5D which use Vimeo’s video system.

Of course, we have exclusive video from Facebook which explains these features. Here’s a video with Chris Putnam, who runs the Facebook video team.

TechCrunch also covers the new Facebook features.

We’re trying to upload a 720p video to all of these services to see which ones have the best quality and features. Which one are you going to use if you have an HD camcorder? We should have a test video up soon.

UPDATE: this news has already started a long conversation on FriendFeed.

UPDATE 2: Chris Putnam, who was featured in my video, has posted a blog post about these changes and TechMeme has more posts about Facebook’s new video.

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Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. i need to admit that don’s video looks completely fake – i guess it’s that damn good :) but facebook said on your video that they only do 720p – would don’s video look as clear on 720?

  2. i need to admit that don’s video looks completely fake – i guess it’s that damn good :) but facebook said on your video that they only do 720p – would don’s video look as clear on 720?

  3. allen: the difference between 720p and 1080p is very hard for a human eye to discern. We’ll definitely test it out. My producer is getting a Canon 5D MKII too, just to try it out. By the way, the file sizes we’re uploading are massive. Rocky is uploading a 720p to all these services that’s 32 seconds long. Size? 228mb. Wow.

  4. allen: the difference between 720p and 1080p is very hard for a human eye to discern. We’ll definitely test it out. My producer is getting a Canon 5D MKII too, just to try it out. By the way, the file sizes we’re uploading are massive. Rocky is uploading a 720p to all these services that’s 32 seconds long. Size? 228mb. Wow.

  5. Great news, vive HD!

    Just got my Canon hf11, very nice. The only catch is that the AVCHD is a little expensive to edit (as reported).

    BTW, which encoding format the MKII is using? It says Quicktime 1080p H.264, does that mean it is a .mov? What is the difference with AVCHD?

  6. Great news, vive HD!

    Just got my Canon hf11, very nice. The only catch is that the AVCHD is a little expensive to edit (as reported).

    BTW, which encoding format the MKII is using? It says Quicktime 1080p H.264, does that mean it is a .mov? What is the difference with AVCHD?

  7. I uploaded a particularly tricky 720p video; sun glinting off water, with the whole scene panning… the difference in quality between YouTube standard and YouTube HD is quite amazing, check it out:

    Source video: 720p MP4 (H.264) at 7500kbits/s

  8. I uploaded a particularly tricky 720p video; sun glinting off water, with the whole scene panning… the difference in quality between YouTube standard and YouTube HD is quite amazing, check it out:

    Source video: 720p MP4 (H.264) at 7500kbits/s

  9. I really like the idea that everyone is going HD but I that means that we now have a longer workflow.

    More time for transfers. More time for encodes. More time for uploads. More time for downloads.

    I look forward to when we can get HD processing times lower that what SD is at now.

  10. I really like the idea that everyone is going HD but I that means that we now have a longer workflow.

    More time for transfers. More time for encodes. More time for uploads. More time for downloads.

    I look forward to when we can get HD processing times lower that what SD is at now.

  11. I just uploaded an HD video from my d90 to youtube, I’m not getting the watch in HD link, not sure what the deal is. Scouring forums to see what the matter is, no dice. Anybody got help for me?

  12. I just uploaded an HD video from my d90 to youtube, I’m not getting the watch in HD link, not sure what the deal is. Scouring forums to see what the matter is, no dice. Anybody got help for me?

  13. Guess i have to export it to H.264 5000kbits before uploading, I was just uploading the video directly from the camera. What a pain.