Stage6 to Shut Down on February 28

And so the popular with teenagers Stage6 is going to close. Reason being that it’s “too expensive to run”. Now, leaving aside conspiracy theories that RIAA/MPAA might be lingering to sue them as Stage6 is a pirate’s heaven, truth is, this site IS expensive to run.

The reason why it is expensive to run is because they are not clever about it. Here you have people uploading GBs of video, and Stage6 shows them as is, without a sensible re-encoding. This obviously does not fly well with bandwidth consumption, which is the No1 wallet killer. If they had the brains to do HD the same way Vimeo does it (re-encode the HD stream in a lower bitrate HD in the page, allow an SD version to be embedded only, and allow for download of the original stream), plus re-encode files only if necessary (a formula could be used to decide to either re-encode or not based on the video time vs bitrate and filesize), that would have probably save them millions of dollars in bandwidth by now.

But, they didn’t seem to have the brains, so they are out of the picture, leaving Vimeo being pretty much the only big-enough video sharing site to support HD.

5 Comments »

Michael wrote on February 25th, 2008 at 2:20 PM PST:

With Stage6 you download once: for viewing and for archiving. With Vimeo you need to download twice. You can say that most people don’t download hi-res version, but seems that Stage6 hosts (er, hosted) videos that most people indeed wanted to watch in the best possible quality, this was the whole reason of Stage6. Vimeo is more of “here my pretty kitty” kind of site.

As for brains, I think they have enough of them to transform a hacked MPEG-4 codec into a world-wide brand name. Stage6 was more like a showcase for them.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on February 25th, 2008 at 2:29 PM PST:

You are a tad annoying lately, you know that?

> With Vimeo you need to download twice

Yes, but thing is, only about 1% of users actually DOWNLOAD a video. With Stage6, you download the original huge file you want it or not. And this is neither good for you as a user, and especially not good for their business. Most people have no clue how to encode a video in a sensible bitrate that’s suitable for the web while still maintaining the intended resolution. I don’t give random people the benefit of the doubt to know what they are doing when encoding.

> Stage6 hosts (er, hosted) videos that most people indeed wanted to watch in the best possible quality

Yeah. Pirated movies and shows. Indeed, most people wanted a local copy.


Bruno wrote on February 25th, 2008 at 3:54 PM PST:

I agree with you in some points. First I think Vimeo it’s pretty good (actually I’m transfering my videos there) but it’s not as good as Stage6 was, technically let you use surround sound via mp3 surround, you can use 60fps and some other tweaks that Vimeo can´t, but the lots of copyright material it’s what kills Stage6, not the lack of brains or the bandwidth Vimeo got some big files too, and the storage of two kinds of files it’s also exprensive like Blip.tv does.

Stage6 was an interesting experiment for Video On Demand and I bet in a near future some major companies are going to adopt the same model for providing high quality and comercial content with DRM over the web.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on February 25th, 2008 at 3:57 PM PST:

> technically let you use surround sound via mp3 surround, you can use 60fps and some other tweaks

It is too early to allow things like that. Most people watch videos via their 2 Watt laptop speakers, and they don’t have unlimited bandwidth speed. Maybe Stage6’s abilities is a good idea for 2020, but for today, they should have shaped their business the way that made sense. Let the people who want surround sound to simply download the original uploaded file, like Vimeo does it.

No matter how you see it, these Stage6 people dug their own graves.


elena wrote on March 2nd, 2008 at 12:13 PM PST:

Stage6 closed, but there is another channel http://www.imctv.us quality of the video is as stage6 in Divx


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