Akamai Ramps Up Web Portal for HD Online

Akamai Technologies has unveiled a Web portal that contains HD demo content from a variety of providers, including CBS, BBC, Apple, Gannett, and the National Basketball Association, as a way to publicize its HD technology for personal computer venues.

The new site, dubbed “The HD Web” is being pushed this week in a series of mass e-mailings and other online ads. Content on the site is being demonstrated in 1080p with 5.1 surround sound, 1080i and 720p.

The featured “movie” being offered early this week, among several other offerings, is a 44-minute episode of “CSI” on CBS. Also on the HD demo menu are trailers and previews for the 11-episode “Planet Earth” documentary series from the BBC, which was produced in HD.

Akamai notes that “as the lines blur between the PC and the living room, it’s only a matter of time before consumers demand an HD-quality experience over the Internet. While this may seem like a distant possibility, Akamai invites you to experience the HD Web today.”

Noting that there appears to be conflicting definitions of exactly what constitutes true HD quality online, Akamai has published a white paper, which is featured on its HD site.

A minimum broadband connection of 1.2 Mbps is required to view Akamai’s featured content. Both MPEG-4 and VC-1 compression modes are supported by Akamai’s HD technology.