Akamai Acknowledges It’s Not Delivering HD Video To The iPhone

Earlier in the month, during Akamai's webcast about their HD network, Tim Siglin pointed out on his blog that Akamai's claim that they could deliver HD video to the iPhone wasn't accurate. Tim had a lot of back and forth emails with Akamai, which he documents on his blog here, and I questioned Akamai on the same topic with a post entitled "Does The iPhone Support HD Video? I Say No. Akamai Says Yes".

Earlier today, at the Streaming Media Europe show in London, Tim reported that Akamai has changed their stance on the subject and now acknowledges that they are not delivering HD video to the iPhone. From Tim's blog post a few hours ago:

[Akamai's Suzanne Johnson, who will be appearing on my panel at Streaming Media Europe 2009 later today, has confirmed that a more accurate version of Tom Leighton's "45 million iPhones capable of playing HD content" statement should have been stated as this:

"By year's end, as part of the Akamai HD Network, up to 45 million iPhones and iPod touches will be capable of displaying high-quality video encoded from HD source content."

She also stated that Akamai understand that "the iPhone does not display true HD by definition but can offer consumers an HD-like high quality video experience that complements what they get on TV."]

I think it is important Akamai has changed their stance on this as HD quality video is very important to the future of all companies involved in the online video space as well as how it is defined. We need to keep the standards that we think of with broadcast HD quality to be the same when talking about online video so there is no confusion as to what's HD, and what isn't.

While it's good to see Akamai acknowledge that they aren't delivering HD video to the iPhone, I'd like to see Akamai define what they consider to be "HD quality" when they are talking about delivering "HD quality" video across their network. I still can't find any definition of this by Akamai on their HD Network product page.