Steve wrote a quick post on mariposa HD and the rise of prosumer HD publishing. I believe that he is hitting on a very important trend that is going to play out over the next 12-18 months. There is a dearth of true HD content out there. But people that watch 1080i don’t want to go back. It’s simply breathtaking in comparison.
The studios are going to continue to drag their feet as the cost of replacing legacy infrastructure is expensive to say the least (and the Bluy-Ray/HD-DVD debate will slow demand for next-gen players). Consumers, however, do not have such limitations. They simply upgrade their camera (and maybe their software and hardware, but not always). This might be relatively expensive today, but prices are dropping fast. The cost for upgrade could be as little as a few thousand dollars.
I think what we’ll see towards the end of next year is the graduation of many popular YouTube Directors into the world of HD. YouTube will act as the marketing engine and PPV/ad-supported content in HD will be the monetization engine, typically via compressed download. It won’t be perfect, but people will eat it up.