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YouTube Introduces Leanback and 4K Resolution

by July 13, 2010

YouTube wants to be your entertainment provider; now and into the future. The web’s number one video source has introduced Leanback, a new viewing option that makes it easier for you to enjoy hi-def video by automatically queuing what it thinks you’ll want to see. The new auto-play system promises to make it easier for you to enjoy YouTube without searches, clicks or a remote control. Leanback was only just announced when YouTube made a follow-up announcement that it’s pushing beyond mere 1080P HD. YouTube now offers a 4K video resolution option. Now its possible for you to just Leanback and enjoy streaming videos in resolutions that make 1080P look old fashioned.

In an era of paybacks and kickbacks it’s great to see more leanback in entertainment. With YouTube’s Leanback you’ll login to your account and the system will automatically start streaming HD video at you based on your personal preferences. It’ll try to predict what video clips you’ll enjoy. Google (YouTube’s owner) wants to make YouTube more like a TV network that can stream one video after another with no input.

Leanback is one way to expose casual users to more video. The video-site obviously wants users to stay longer and use the site as an entertainment network rather than for one-off video-clip viewing before leaving. Leanback coupled with HD video resolutions is also making the site a friendlier option for the livingroom and your home entertainment system rather than remaining a computer-centric tool.

YouTube seeks to expand the reach of Leanback by exploring options to make the system more accessible to the TV. Be ready to see Leanback options built into upcoming HDTVs, game consoles, Blu-ray players and even networked media devices by Roku and Slim Devices.

To make YouTube even more big-screen friendly into the future, the website has announced at the VidCon 2010 conference that it would support video shot in 4K. That means according to YouTube it’ll support 360P video all the way up to 4K. To view this you’d need a monitor capable of 4096 x 2304, that’s four times the resolution of 1080P.

To demonstrate the incredible clarity of this resolution YouTube has created a 4K playlist. Each video in this playlist was created using a 4K camera. Be warned: Each of these videos is sure to make all but the highest speed Internet connection choke.

Google has been steadily improving YouTube since purchasing it back in 2006. It first introduced HD video resolutions in 2008 and now resolutions up to 4K video in 2010. It’s also quietly launched an HTML 5 mobile site to ensure its videos are played with the sharpest image-quality possible on current generation handsets.

What can possibly be next for YouTube? Whatever it is, you can bet that we’ll be watching…

About the author:

Wayde is a tech-writer and content marketing consultant in Canada s tech hub Waterloo, Ontario and Editorialist for Audioholics.com. He's a big hockey fan as you'd expect from a Canadian. Wayde is also US Army veteran, but his favorite title is just "Dad".

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Recent Forum Posts:

loccdogg posts on July 20, 2010 18:25
Why does youtube have to suck so hard
Biggiesized posts on July 15, 2010 21:33
Someone measured that the 4K streams were using roughly 6 Mb/s. That's pathetic. Only the 720p option on YouTube has reasonable quality per bit measurement.
Seth=L posts on July 15, 2010 15:38
F3Technologies, post: 734036
This $5 million looks like an interesting way to forestall the decline of the traditional ad-funded model that's been around since the 1950s.

Meanwhile, new business models for online video content are cropping up everywhere. I work for one, FargoTube (at FargoTube dot com), which is fundamentally a social-networking platform. Musicians, film studios and other content owners use it to sell their videos online while staying in touch with their fans. In contrast to YouTube, content owners can integrate FargoTube into their own websites. Viewers can choose to subscribe to a musician's (or filmmaker's or film studio's, etc.) Tube for a monthly fee, usually $1 to $10, or just pay by the video.

*sniff sniff* I smell something metallic. Could be some kind of hammer, not sure what kind.
F3Technologies posts on July 15, 2010 12:30
putting off the inevitable

This $5 million looks like an interesting way to forestall the decline of the traditional ad-funded model that's been around since the 1950s.

Meanwhile, new business models for online video content are cropping up everywhere. I work for one, FargoTube (at FargoTube dot com), which is fundamentally a social-networking platform. Musicians, film studios and other content owners use it to sell their videos online while staying in touch with their fans. In contrast to YouTube, content owners can integrate FargoTube into their own websites. Viewers can choose to subscribe to a musician's (or filmmaker's or film studio's, etc.) Tube for a monthly fee, usually $1 to $10, or just pay by the video.
BoredSysAdmin posts on July 14, 2010 10:17
While my home pc (old) chocks on 4k, my work - brand new i7 machine plays it smoothly with overall 10-15% usage..
However due to the extremely high compression end result tis tons of macroblocks and they rather large. Right now 1080p video looks like crap due to same reason - bumping the resolution to insane (only a dozen of displays in the world can show real 4K) doesn't help the PQ.
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