Stage6 (2006-2008; precursor to: Veoh.com)
DivX and Xvid are highly thought of in the video world, thanks to their efficient encoding techniques and superb image quality. With this in mind, DivX launched Stage6 in 2006 to showcase the codec's abilities, and to provide high-quality video downloads from producers and users.
It was a welcome service, considering the low bandwidth and poor video quality of sites such as YouTube. But of course, the intense bandwidth and data transfer costs weren't being generated by users, as Stage6 didn't cost a bean to download from. This resulted in reported costs to DivX of around $1m a month.
What made Stage6 particularly unusual is that it offered support for 1080p HD video -- although our HD guru Ian Morris mocked the claim on the grounds that, while it offered a frame size and rate of 1080p, the data rate was so low it isn't worth comparing to any 'proper' HD format, such as Blu-ray. Even so, its on-demand, Web-based nature made it lip-smackingly attractive to producers and downloaders alike.
The site now points users to Veoh -- a site that offers high-quality streaming, supports DivX uploads and lets users download the originally uploaded source file, using P2P technology. The company is not affiliated with DivX, although it is backed by Time Warner.