Today Motionbox is taking an important step forward as a video host. It's now supporting high definition footage uploaded by its premium users, who get to partake in unlimited file size or storage limitations as part of the $30 a year service. Regular users will also notice a quality bump, as the supported resolution has been increased to DVD quality to help meet the now standard VGA quality and beyond on most point-and-shoot cameras.
HD videos can be encoded in any of the popular competing formats, including AVCHD which only recently began to meander into consumer level video editing software suites. Users are also able to edit raw, uncut HD footage in MotionBox's Web-based editing tools. This feature should make it easier and far less expensive for people who want to do simple edits to HD footage without upgrading computer hardware.
The sample clips I've seen are beautiful and load instantly. If you've spent any time on Vimeo and its high definition gallery the experience is similar. Both suffer from the technological shortcoming of not letting embedded clips be in high definition, meaning you'll have to visit the Web site if you want to see for yourself. Update: I've gotten the supersecret embed code to drop the HD player on the page. See update note the end of the post for more information, and click the "read more" link to watch it.
Motionbox is coming to the HD crowd a little late, but it is offering some interesting tandem services to entice prosumers who are looking less at broadcasting to the masses, and more to small groups of friends and family. In a few weeks, MotionBox will launch a custom DVD service that will let users drop clips onto a virtual DVD and have it printed and sent to themselves or to friends. With the right permissions, users will also be able to take your clips and burn them onto a DVD if you make that option available. CEO Chris O'Brien also tells me the flipbooks, which were introduced last November have been enjoyed by users.
If you're a heavy HD user looking to share some HD footage with others on the cheap, Dailymotion and Vimeo serve up free hosting. There are caveats for each though. Dailymotion needs you to be a MotionMaker and broadcast your stuff to everyone, while Vimeo limits your weekly file uploads to 500MB which might be pushing it for some long, raw 1080p footage.
Note: O'Brien says that users will eventually be able to embed the HD videos themselves, but we've been given a special code for this one. Also be sure to vote to see the results in the poll below. Looks like a lot of you don't have HD cameras.
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