I love watching videos online when I have time especially High Definition content. Even though it takes longer to load (better off downloading) it looks so much better than Standard Definition. Mark Cuban has often dogged online HD as “not really HD” since the same content would not be HD on a big screen HDTV. I don’t know if that is true in every case but he should know since he owns HDNET. But the fact that the HD content online looks like Hi Def while viewing on a computer screen is all that matters. Perception is reality especially to the average non geek person. If it looks great to them they are not going to compare 10 different videos to see how much worse one looks than the other. Some content will never be viewed on a TV anyway. Stupid people falling down, ala youtube, only takes a minute to watch online at work or while waiting on an email. That stuff is not worth sitting down in the living room to watch. That said, it would still be better in Hi Def. I do some videos of my kids’ sports, my nephew’s sports, and local high school football with my Sony HD camera (consumer model). I share these online where family members can watch at work or while checking email. The best part of family or local content is that it can be easily shared. Watching a DVD of your child’s football game then waiting to see your sister to give her the DVD is a bit more time consuming than sending an email with the video in it. I normally do SD instead of HD just because of loading times and I know most people want to watch right then instead of downloading it.
There are a few sites that offer HD content: blip.tv, Vimeo, & Vuze. I like blip.tv since it is easy to use and I always get a human response to an emailed question. While content like major movies are much better in HD on TV that does not mean there is no room online for HD media. The right venue for the right content is the key. The phrase, “good enough for who it is for” also fits. Your Aunt Peggy in Florida will love your HD footage of your vacation. She won’t be comparing your media to a George Lucas production.