Jakob Lodwick (founder of Vimeo) responds.
Today, the quality of YouTube vids is so abysmal that it’s not an alternative to the iTunes Store or television. But releasing HD will bring YouTube one step closer to the legal decision that either cripples them or shuts them down entirely.
I don’t think HD is particularly relevant for YouTube. Since the majority of the content is badly ripped from TV or captured with tiny webcams, there just isn’t much benefit for them. Garbage in, garbage out.
HD will only increase the CPU time and bandwidth required to display YouTube’s garbage content.