Akamai Pushes HD Online

Content-delivery network Akamai Technologies created a Web portal dedicated to high-definition video, "TheHDWeb," which was also designed to show off Akamai’s solution for reliably delivering HD video to consumers.

The new Web site features content from Apple, BBC Motion Gallery, BudTV, CBS, Gannett, MTV Networks, the National Basketball Association and Sidetrack Films spanning the genres of music, movies, professional sports, games and news. The video on the service is being delivered by Akamai's distributed-edge-delivery platform, which is configured for optimal delivery of HD files online by deploying servers directly in the networks of broadband Internet-service providers to ensure that content is served closest to the end-user.

"This portal further showcases Akamai's commitment to ensuring superior HD experiences for consumers and enabling innovative business opportunities for our ecosystem of content owners, network providers and video-platform players," Akamai chief technology officer Mike Afergan said in a statement. "Akamai's edge architecture works with the access networks to provide the capacity to deliver high-throughput files.”

He continued, “Many of the companies participating in our HDWeb initiative have already seen growing demand in the broadcast world for increasing amounts of content in HD format and understand that mirroring the experience on the Web offers increased opportunity for brand immersion, content monetization and positive user experiences. It's exciting to be able to offer this service to our customers, partners and consumers at large to showcase that HD on the Internet is not imminent: It has arrived."

Akamai recommended a broadband connection of 1.2 megabits-per-second or faster to enjoy the HDWeb service. It said the service will support the VC-1 and MPEG-4 advanced compression schemes and video files recorded in the 720-line progressive (720p), 1080-line interlace (1080i) and 1080-line-progressive (1080p) HD formats and be capable of storing files bigger than 2 gigabytes.

"Our audiences love watching their favorite music and pop-culture programs in HD, and at TheHDWeb.com, they can see sneak peaks of how The Hills and Run's House will appear in the near future," said Nick Rockwell, senior vice president and CTO of global digital media for MTV Networks, in a statement.

"Akamai's platform and unique network architecture are ideally suited to helping us to deliver the exceptional HD experiences that our viewers demand,” he added. “We look forward to expanding our long-standing and strategic relationship with Akamai, which has been a strong supporter of our major global events like the Video Music Awards."