We knew that free HD from ABC.com
was too good to be true, and now ABC's VP of technology spills the beans. In order to deliver streaming HD over the Internet, ABC will be using On2 Technologies' video codec to deliver 720p video at 24 fps, but at a bitrate of between 850 Kbps and 2 Mbps. This really isn't much higher than their current streaming service -- that some already believe is HD
-- and about half of what we would consider acceptable if encoded with H.264
. Sure we knew that the the video wasn't going to be up to our standards, but at this rate we wonder how many people wouldn't just pay $2 an episode to avoid all the dancing grass and un-skipable commercials, if given the chance.