YouTube co-founder Steve Chen has just announced that YouTube is currently testing higher quality video streams (probably HD, but accounts from the live event differ) for the site. And within three months, these higher quality streams will become available to the public. While I for one cannot wait to see bottle rockets shoot from rear orifices in stunning higher resolutions, Chen points out that there are still a few problems with the idea.
First, remember that the entire existing library will still look like crap. Also, buffering is still an issue. Even if YouTube can get video streaming fast enough, many users still won't be able to receive the streaming instantly, which is what makes YouTube so addictive. And the subtext here, which Chen didn't mention, is the value for YouTube. The site is expensive to maintain as it is, but with the demand of even more bandwidth without much marketplace competition might not make sense from a business perspective. [cnet and techcrunch]