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Report: Vimeo's going hi-def next week

The clip-sharing site, which emphasizes creative and homemade videos, reportedly will announce this week a plan to offer its videos in high-definition.

The New York Post reported on Tuesday morning that New York-based video-hosting community site Vimeo plans to announce this week that it will be distributing videos at a high-definition resolution of 1,280x720 pixels, making it apparently the first user-generated video-sharing site to do so.

The Post's Peter Lauria connects the new push for making high-definition technology available on user-generated video sites to the ongoing price drop in consumer-grade HD cameras--an inarguably hot item this holiday season.

But back to Vimeo--it's an interesting site. Originally a side project for CollegeHumor exec Jakob Lodwick, the site's close-knit community, emphasis on user-created videos that are actually created by the users who uploaded them (rather than mass-distributed viral clips or ripped TV shows), and quirky attitude would have you think that it's an indie operation. It's not hard to see the site as a sort of Etsy of video-sharing. But don't let that fool you; the aesthetically pleasing video site actually has the oversight and financial support of the massive new-media conglomerate InterActiveCorp, CollegeHumor's parent company--something that could give it a major advantage in the clogged market niche of video-sharing services.

The Silicon Alley Insider points out that going high-def could be a prohibitively expensive move for an independent start-up. But clearly, Vimeo's not in that position. And CenterNetworks' Allen Stern wonders if this might actually be a way for the site to pull in more revenue.

On a somewhat related note, AllFacebook blogger Nick O'Neill has heard rumors that MySpace wants to launch a high-definition online video service.