Free HD on the Web
LIANE HANSEN, host:
The world's largest consumer electronics trade show opens in Las Vegas tomorrow. All the latest gadgets and coolest products will be on display. Victor Godinez is a technology reporter for the Dallas Morning News, and he wants you to know about a Web site that can make your home movies look sharp.
Mr. VICTOR GODINEZ (Technology Reporter, Dallas Morning News): If you've ever wondered what YouTube would look like if its videos were in high-definition, well, they'd probably look a lot like what you can find on Vimeo.com. The site is spelled V-I-M-E-O, an anagram of the word movie, is one of the first - if not the first - online video sites to let you post your home movies in full-fledged HD.
With Vimeo, you just click play and the video starts playing directly in your browser without having to download anything. So far, Vimeo has focused on showing videos made by amateurs rather than commercial TV shows and movies, and most of the clips on the site are a bit artsy. You'll find a lot of nature videographers shooting scenes in their backyards, or wannabe musicians creating half-baked music videos.
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Mr. GODINEZ: But that's okay. While the cream will eventually rise to the top -and there are some talented shooters on the site - Vimeo's real benefit right now is making it easier to share high-definition home videos with friends and family. Until now, you've had to use other methods such as attaching a movie clip to an e-mail or burning HD videos to a disc. That's cumbersome, slow and expensive. With Vimeo, you just upload your file once to the site and anyone with a fast Internet connection can watch it. It's all free and the video quality really is excellent.
While watching a YouTube or Google Video in full screen feels like someone smeared Vaseline in your eyes, Vimeo videos more than hold their own in full screen mode, looking nearly as sharp as a HD channel on your high-def television.
Eventually, YouTube and all the other big video sites will start offering their own HD content because Americans already are watching billions of videos online. With that many eyeballs roaming the online video landscape, it's inevitable that any technical advance by one video service will be copied before long by all its competitors. For now, though, Vimeo - which has about 275,000 users - is one of the most unique online video services on the Web. It offers aspiring directors a chance to make their projects shine, and it gives you one more reason to justify buying that fancy, new high-definition camcorder you've had your eye on.
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MOLLY (ph): Let me - hey, ready?
Unidentified Man: Yeah. Why don't you introduce yourself first?
MOLLY: Oh, yes.
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MOLLY: Okay. Hi. I'm Molly.
JENNA(ph): I'm Jenna.
MOLLY: Right here at CES 2007, launching a new product. It's little…
HANSEN: Victor Godinez is the technology reporter for the Dallas Morning News. He came to us by way of member station KERA.
This is NPR News.
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