AOL and CBS Put Online HD Video

By David Kaplan,

While HD maybe catching on with TV audiences, when it comes to online, some viewers just can’t be bothered. At least that’s what AOL (NYSE: TWX) and CBS (NYSE: CBS) have concluded for now. NewTeeVee reports that both AOL and CBS are giving up on their respective attempts at delivering HD quality video online. Fred McIntyre, SVP of AOL Video, said that viewership for its two-year-old Hi-Q service was so low, the company didn’t even track it. As an online activity, the opportunity to watch HD video tends to take a back seat to searching for interesting entertainment and having it run quickly. In the case of CBS Interactive, Quincy Smith, the interactive unit’s president, said that users found two things wrong with it: the HD player required a special download and it wasn’t compatible with all computers and browsers.
Some of the companies that still have faith in internet users warming up to HD including (which is using tech from Move Networks, which just raised a big round) and DivX’s Stage6, both of which run an in-browser plug-in player, while Vimeo has unveiled its own in-browser HD tool. In addition, VeohTV and Vuze, are betting that viewers will consider the downloading extra software as a fair price to pay for better looking video.

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