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The last frontier for web publishers is the television set, but it keeps getting easier and easier to get into the living room. This is because portable electronic devices can actually play the television sets wirelessly and we're seeing set-top boxes that make this so much easier. You can actually get a DVD player or Blu-ray player in fact that has wireless streaming built-in, and this is going to make it easy to connect popular services like Vimeo, YouTube and Blip TV.
It's important that you understand though that there still are a few technical limitations to delivering high-definition video to television devices. If HD is what you have in mind, you've got a big decision to make between 1280 x 720 versus 1920 x 1080. Many purists feel that the 1080 size is the true HD size, but there is a lot of merit to delivering HD video at a 723p frame size, this is because it leads to significantly faster download times, and in fact, many people can't tell the difference.
If you're looking at streaming players delivering to the living room and the size of most people's living rooms, because 720 content often looks better than the 1080 equivalent. You can deliver video up to 11/2 megabits per second and 30 frames per second. Now when we look at this here, you'll see that there are lots of different sizes supported and it gets a little tricky. The newest phones do support true HD the 1080p size, both the offerings from Apple, Android.
However, most set-top boxes, as well as devices like the iPad are capped at smaller sizes. When we look at the Apple TV device in particular, you notice an important trend and that is that if you deliver video that's 720, it stays 720 when you're delivering at 24 frames a second, which is the frame rate that most movies and a lot of web video is produced. If you're dealing with 1080 frame sizes, it's almost always going to get dumped down, either 1280x720 or in fact to an even smaller size of 960 X 540, this is a tough decision.
You're going to have to decide if you want to produce video in true HD 1920 x 1080, but realize that that does add cost. For many web video creators the only HD that they need is 1280 x 720, this is a choice that you'll have to make, and make sure you think through all the factors, including storage and computer processing power, as well as what it's going to cost for you to serve that data up over a network. The 720 sizes are going to be much smaller. Now the path to the TV is pretty straightforward, there are devices such as Apple TV, TiVo, Western Digital Television, as well as the Windows Media Center, Roku and of course, Blu-ray Players.
The good news is as a hyper-syndication the barriers just keep going down. Thanks to stores like iTunes and Amazon.com and Roku, people are expecting to get HD video content over the net, right to their television. This is an area that's just going to get easier and easier, and I highly recommend that you pick a hosting service that supports delivery to television sets.
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