YouTube is dancing a fine line between standard and passé. No doubt it has changed the world, and the way we view it. But it’s grainy player, dated website look and many hot competitors have made YouTube seem less innovative, more dinosaur. Add to the fact that YouTube has not been able to strike deals with many ‘rights holders’ – film, TV, music and other companies can provide official clips that people want so much. This week, it seems like YouTube have starting making steps towards the future. The first fruits of this is YouTube XL.
The thinking behind XL is the TV. The line between your TV screen and your computer monitor is blurring more and more, and that’s the place XL fits. If you can make the web appear on your TV screen (or you have one of those sexy Mac cinema displays), then XL is for you. The interface reminds us of cable TV screens – no scrollers, BIG writing etc. But we guess that’s a necessity in this space.
Most game consoles like Xbox can get onto the internet nowadays. It’s getting easier and easier to plug a computer into a TV. You can loop that Blu-Ray disc drive through your TV. AppleTV is a great device whose time is still to come (we reckon). Most major TV stations have online view-on-demand. Now the ubiquitous YouTube is heading to your TV as well. If YouTube can strike a deal with TV stations and other rights holders, then maybe we can throw our Tivos and Sky+ boxes away.
Also, we love how film quality, resolution and definition is back on people’s minds again. After some years of watching film clips made for a small YouTube screen, maybe we will head back to an era of widescreen film clips, full of detail. Technology and art follow eachother, after all. Now if they can do something about that audio…
Most of us will stick with our father’s YouTube for now. But just as it’s getting easier for people to hook up their iPods to speakers or the TV to play something for friends, soon it will be that easy for video. No more crowding around a laptop with terrible speakers to show someone a funny clip. Soon it will be prime time.
Check out YouTube XL here – http://www.youtube.com/xl