Home > The Internet > Pixels, we got pixels

Pixels, we got pixels

YouTube is a household term these days, and DivX is getting there, but what’s still off the radar for almost everyone is DivX’s take on web video, which they call Stage6. The big difference? 1080p.

Their official FAQ claims that there is “currently is no limit to the number or total size of videos”, only that they be under 2 gigabytes, which is quite a lot with a compact format like DivX. With beautiful full-screen enlargement, which is night and day to YouTube’s horrifying quality at high resolutions, it is what I would say is the future of internet streaming video.

The catch? You have to download their web player software. YouTube runs “natively” in most browsers because its based on Flash, which has its limitations. I suspect that there is also a concern for compatibility, as not every computer can render 720p at 30 frames per second. But you don’t write papers in Notepad, and nor should web video be stuck in Flash.

So what do you get for your install? well, the most impressive videos are usually high-res movie trailers. Let see, we have the new Indy movie, Iron Man (which also comes in stupidly high res), and the second Narnia. All of them look utterly appealing and they’re all coming out in mid-May. Bastards.

But what really caught my eye over at Stage6 is the support for making a web series. The three episode-based web shows that I have paid attention to (RedVsBlue, The Scene, and Pure Pwnage) never made any attempt to host their content on the likes of YouTube because it just wasn’t practical. Their only option was to host the videos on their own servers and let people come and consume their bandwidth. Obviously, this makes the start-up costs for such an endeavor somewhat higher.

As evidence, I offer up “./shutdown” a web series that takes some help desk employees who work at MorboCorp and answer to a bureaucrat who insists on being called “Gunny” and who often descend into Nerf battles, and just runs with them. They go everywhere from the comic shop to Comic-Con, and all of it at Stage6, in honest-to-god 720p. They have actually not even bothered to host the videos on their own servers for download, preferring to mirror them at various video download sites.

And honestly, why would you? When you can host high quality videos for free online, why would you shell out clams for your own server? Damned if I know.

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Categories: The Internet
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