I love watching videos online when I have time especially High Definition content. Even though it takes longer to load (better off downloading) it looks so much better than Standard Definition. Mark Cuban has often dogged online HD as “not really HD” since the same content would not be HD on a big screen HDTV. I don’t know if that is true in every case but he should know since he owns HDNET. But the fact that the HD content online looks like Hi Def while viewing on a computer screen is all that matters. Perception is reality especially to the average non geek person. If it looks great to them they are not going to compare 10 different videos to see how much worse one looks than the other. Some content will never be viewed on a TV anyway. Stupid people falling down, ala youtube, only takes a minute to watch online at work or while waiting on an email. That stuff is not worth sitting down in the living room to watch. That said, it would still be better in Hi Def. I do some videos of my kids’ sports, my nephew’s sports, and local high school football with my Sony HD camera (consumer model). I share these online where family members can watch at work or while checking email. The best part of family or local content is that it can be easily shared. Watching a DVD of your child’s football game then waiting to see your sister to give her the DVD is a bit more time consuming than sending an email with the video in it. I normally do SD instead of HD just because of loading times and I know most people want to watch right then instead of downloading it.
There are a few sites that offer HD content: blip.tv, Vimeo, & Vuze. I like blip.tv since it is easy to use and I always get a human response to an emailed question. While content like major movies are much better in HD on TV that does not mean there is no room online for HD media. The right venue for the right content is the key. The phrase, “good enough for who it is for” also fits. Your Aunt Peggy in Florida will love your HD footage of your vacation. She won’t be comparing your media to a George Lucas production.
Mark Cuban is among many who are bidding to buy the Chicago Cubs. Whether you like this guy or not it would be fantastic for Major League Baseball, not to mention the Cubs. MLB has had all kinds of troubles over the past decade or so from steroids to player strikes to an incompetent commissioner in Bud Selig. While these things have hurt “America’s Pastime”, it is the refusal to do new things & let the status quo go unchecked that bothers me most. Mark Cuban is one of the brightest people on the planet so I’d be more apt to make him commissioner than just an owner of a single team. As owner of the Cubs he could affect change by changing how his team does things so others will follow suit. I think Mark would have better ideas than turning a blind eye to steroid use just to get attendance numbers back up. He might actually institute some new technology and ideas.
The first thing he could do is make baseball players more accessible to fans. Nascar blew up because the average fan could talk to the drivers and team members in the pit area. His personal blog often covers his NBA team so instantly the average fan will get thoughts on their favorite team from the top guy. The next thing he would do would likely get the Cubs on HDNET as well as their local WGN channel. That would expand the viewership which is already huge for the Cubs. Another improvement he could make is push for better technology for the strike zone which is subjective to which human umpire is on the job. Also he could try to improve the game by speeding it up with a pitch clock that keeps the action going instead of wasting time between pitches. No one has time for four hour baseball games anymore. The biggest thing Cuban could do for baseball is just be different than all the ancient owners that are currently there. These guys likely don’t care about high def, the internet, and have never heard of a blog. Even if you disagree with Cuban’s position on online videos and other issues relating to the web, at least he understands what is going on. He is not stuck in the 80′s or 90′s. As an owner he would have a voice in overall baseball policies. When Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks that team was a joke but he turned them into a perpetual winner with great attendance. Think about what he could do with a team that already has a great fan base.
Likely the powers that be in Major League Baseball won’t allow Cuban to get into their elitist club because they like things the way they are currently. People don’t like change especially when it threatens their powerful positions. It is similar to how old media is holding on for dear life resisting change that is already here. The current leaders in baseball would rather keep things “the way we have always done it” than make a change for the better.