YouTube Goes Widescreen

Did you just buy a 'YouTube Ready' camcorder? Oops...

When it’s not misleading people about YouTube HD I’ll admit to having something of a liking for the Web’s biggest video sharing website (urgh, I feel dirty as if I just said I like ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ or know who John Sergeant is – thankfully I don’t and refuse to look it up). So this is rather a pleasant and long overdue development: YouTube is embracing widescreen aspect ratios.

“Over the years we’ve heard a lot of feedback from you about what you’d like to change about YouTube, and the size of our video player is always top of mind,” said the company on its official blog. “That’s why today we’re excited to announce a bigger YouTube player.”

How big? Well, the blog bizarrely doesn’t say only explaining that the width of YouTube pages has immediately been expanded to 960 pixels. Despite this a quick measure reveals 16:9 friendly ‘Quarter High Definition’ (QHD or 640 x 360 pixels) is the order of the day. A standard I now suspect we’re all going to become familiar with very fast.

Surprisingly, YouTube didn’t go into detail about what minimum or maximum resolution videos the new enlarged player may upload, though it did say existing 4:3 videos will happily work with it (rather obvious). That said, it didn’t explain that existing 4:3 videos also now look rather ”rubbish” as shown above (despite the excellent content being broadcast!).

Initial thoughts? Hmmmn, well new owners of all those ‘instant’ YouTube webcams and camcorders must be feeling pretty narked off…

YouTube Widescreen Blog Entry

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