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Video host Stage6 shutting down in 72 hours

Divx is killing off its video hosting service.

Divx's pet video hosting project Stage6 will be discontinuing operations Thursday, Feburary 28. The service let users put up their Divx-encoded videos and make them available in high quality for other users to watch and comment on. Already uploads have been discontinued, and the site will simply cease to exist on Thursday--taking all the user videos with it.

Tom Huntington, the Divx employee who posted the closure announcement on the company blog, wrote the service was simply costing the company too much money:

As Stage6 grew quickly and dramatically (accompanied by an explosion of other sites delivering high quality video), it became clear that operating the service as a part of the larger DivX business no longer made sense. We couldn't continue to run Stage6 and focus on our broader strategy to make it possible for anyone to enjoy high quality video on any device. So, in July of last year we announced that we were kicking off an effort to explore strategic alternatives for Stage6, which is a fancy way of saying we decided we would either have to sell it, spin it out into a private company or shut it down.

I won't (and can't, really) go into too much detail on those first two options other than to say that we tried really hard to find a way to keep Stage6 alive, either as its own private entity or by selling it to another company. Ultimately neither of those two scenarios was possible, and we made the hard decision to turn the lights off and cease operation of the service.

The blowback from users has been fairly substantial.

Since announcing the discontinuation of the service early this morning there are nearly 4,000 comments on the company blog. Most users are angered there's been such short notice. Others are simply mad there's not an option to take their videos elsewhere like what Yahoo did with its photo service last year.

I'm personally sad to see the site go. Stage6 was one of the first places I got to see what had happened to the Oakland, Calif., overpass that collapsed when a fuel truck exploded below it (news story). A user had uploaded an HD copy they had taken of the fire, and it was better and more accessible than some of the early news reports.