Television and consumer electronics are benefiting from the new high-definition video formats, but there may not be enough room to enable that type of quality on the internet. A high-definition (HD) streaming video can require twice as much broadband capacity compared to traditional videos.
For now, the Internet-viewing public will have to be satisfied with watching live sporting and news events, or homemade movies presented on streaming sites in formats offering slightly grainy images and sometimes-jerky motion. In fact, every industry expert interviewed for this story said that the way things stand now there just isn't enough bandwidth going into the home to stream the more expansive HD video.
The typical Internet connection is 2 to 3 megabits per second, says Laszlo. The minimum needed to stream HD-quality video is 5mbps. Even if bandwidth were to be increased, computers with lower graphics processing power may be unable to display the richer details that HD provides.