This bit of news came out today via the Vimeo blog: the filmmaker’s favorite online video sharing site is adding both 1080p and AVCHD support. The 1080p support was inevitable since YouTube has already added this resolution. Where YouTube goes the competitors must follow. It’s great that Vimeo is adding this as it seems to be the go-to place for filmmakers, cinematographers and the serious hobbyist to show off their work. But beware, Vimeo says: “We’re calling this feature experimental: that means to use caution before enabling 1080p, since viewers may experience choppy playback.” Discussion has already begun on the Vimeo forums in an official Let’s talk about 1080! thread, which might be worth monitoring if you’re going to use this new feature. I uploaded a short piece just to see if it works. The embed is after the jump. And please note: 1080p upload support is only available for Vimeo Plus members.

Vimeo also announced a more formal introduction of AVCHD support where they say “if you shoot or edit in AVCHD, you can now upload the .MTS or .M2S file directly.” This was news to me as I don’t do a lot of AVCHD work. I’m unaware if any of the editing apps that support native AVCHD can export an edit in a .MTS or .M2S format (please comment below if you know that answer) but that’s got to be a nice feature for the camera guy who wants to upload a single shot for critiquing purposes or review by a client.

Vimeo has been the ball with these new additions, as well as the recent iPhone support and Flash-less HTML5 player. But wait, YouTube has begun an HTML5 experiment of their own! If only YouTube could add a grammar checking option next …

I uploaded a short 1080p clip of my laughing baby just to see if it works. This was Canon 7D footage imported into Avid Media Composer and then exported as a 1920×1080 H.264 QuickTime. This is a very quick, down and dirty process, but one I often use for family web videos as it’s a fast workflow and produces nice movies for Facebook or Mobile Me. Once your video has processed, you’ll see the above Display this video in 1080p option under the Settings > Video file heading. Vimeo won’t uprez a 720 or SD clip so it has to be 1080 to begin with. I think it does look a bit better but to be honest, but on the embed it didn’t appear that much better than the default display option. I’m watching the clip on a Mac Pro and haven’t had any playback issues (that is once the video has buffered) though some in the Vimeo forum on 1080 are seeing playback issues.

Testing 1080p with a laughing baby from Scott Simmons on Vimeo.