Vimeo the HD alternative to Youtube
Sometimes you need to post a video online and the number of views, favorites and links doesn't matter. What matters is quality. Youtube's quality is a low 200kps and your video, let's say your show reel or beautifully crafted TVC, looks awful in Youtube's 320x240 blurry vision.
There is an alternative which offers all the community sharing aspects of Youtube but with increased quality. Not only that it supports HD. Upload a 1280x720 clip and Vimeo will auto create a small version (400x300) and allow viewers to watch the full HD footage. Here's Vimeos HD FAQ which explains more.
Users have the option of turning off HD at any time and load the smaller clip so bandwidth is not an issue.
Click here to see a comparison of videos on both Youtube and Vimeo.
Here's a comparison of a clips from Youtube and clips from Vimeo.
Note: Sadly Vimeo clips embedded aren't viewable in HD. Check their HD channel to view them in HD
Here's a clip which Youtube's compression should love. Something where hardly anything moves
Vimeo also has features that allow you to upload your own thumbnail for the video and have some videos set as private. Accounts are limited to 500MB upload a week and accounts are free. The video upload and encoding service is superior too. You actually get real time updates on the process of your video being encoded.
So if your a band who wants to put your film clip up for your official site or an agency posting a show reel and need it to look great try Vimeo. Vimeo's smaller user base means you won't become Tay Zonday but it will make your videos look great.
Here's another blog discussing Vimeo vs Viddler. Although this was before HD was introduced to Vimeo.
Interesting fact: Vimeo was founded before Youtube. Just shows you don't need to be first to market or better. Just smarter.