I heard someone (well probably many people) describe the battle between HD DVD and Sony’s Blu-ray as the battle to determine which format will be replaced by instantly streaming video from the Internet. There are already streaming video solutions provided by the local cable company, like the On Demand system my cable company uses to provide me with the finest in softcore pornography, gore movies, and mixed martial arts at 4 AM on a Saturday when I’m drunk and need something to fall asleep while watching. However, the selections are limited to only certain movies at certain times, and are at the whim of the providing premium channel.
It’s nice, and I can always find something, but it’s not always what I want. Sometimes, instead of watching Seduction Cinema’s Playmate of the Apes, starring Misty Mundae and featuring Darian Caine, I have to settle for Gladiator Eroticus, starring Darian Caine and featuring Misty Mundae. Really, it flies in the face of what democracy is all about and should be an affront to any person who loves freedom, but technology is a harsh mistress. There are always pesky technological limitations to what can be done with broadband access.
Or there were.
I recently joined Netflix after a year of people constantly telling me, “Dude, you have to join Netflix! It’s awesome!” I finally got tired of there never being anything good available at my local video stores, paying $15 for three DVDs, and the constant late fees because I’d rent the movie, get busy doing something else, and forget to return said DVD. Not one day after I join up do I see the announcement that Netflix and LG have partnered up to figure out a way to take Netflix’s streaming video service off of the computer and beam it directly into a box on top of my TV. You still need a computer for now, but I have the utmost confidence that they’ll work around that sooner, rather than later.
But what about those people with big, expensive high definition digital televisions? Do I expect them to settle for DVD quality when they paid through the nose for a 1080p screen so fine you can count the seams on Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham’s breast implants?
Well, two companies you’ve never heard of, MyTVPal (http://www.mytvpal.com) and MatrixStream, have apparently streamed the world’s first 1080p digital film over the Internet. Provided you have a 6MB connection (and I know no one who has such a thing), you too can watch the film Shadow: Dead Riot (which features Erin Brown AKA Misty Mundae) in such fine detail you can literally see the brush strokes left in the zombie makeup. Those more limited can access a 720p version over a 3MB connection or a 480p option over a 1.5MB internet connection.
I imagine it’s only a matter of time before more mainstream content providers jump on the same bandwagon, or buy up the technology outright, so you may want to hold off on purchasing that 1080p copy of Knocked Up for the moment.