It is inevitable that the quality of Internet video is going to improve dramatically in the months ahead.  It’s also clear that more quality Net video will be viewable on television screens — including those that display in HDTV.

Better video file compression software, better video players, faster connectivity and other factors will play a big role.  The upcoming launches this year from Apple and its iTV, Adobe’s Apollo and the growing utility of Microsoft’s new XBox as a video storage device, all are moving in this direction.

Of course these HDTV files are very big and take a good bit of bandwidth. There are different technologies emerging which will make it possible to work with these files; most technologies for consuming HDTV will involve some sort of download, not stream. 

On2 Technologies is a developer of video compression.  Its software is licensed to Adobe and is integrated into Flash.  I believe that YouTube wouldn’t exist without the ubiquitous adoption of Flash — nor would the whole online video explosion.  The folks at On2 can’t take credit for the huge success and impact of Flash, but their technology makes the images look good.

At CES, On2 will unveil a new video compression software to enable the compression of big HDTV files to be downloaded at data rates as low as 2Mbps.

This demo is limited to the booth at CES and is not publicly available at this time.

Enjoy the show — I wish I could be there. 

Andy Plesser

Coming clean:  On2 is a client of Plesser Holland, the public relations firm that publishes Beet.TV.   

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