YouTube changing format, pushes widescreen HD video

Posted by Samantha Rose Hunt

San Mateo (CA) - Recently, YouTube released their high-definition video option. They have now created new landing pages in attempt to make finding popular video categories simple.




YouTube has created a category that highlights HD videos. Each of these videos contains a “watch in HD” link in the lower right hand corner.



Viewing videos in HD on YouTube increases video size and makes the viewing much more clear with higher quality and resolutions of 1290 by 720 pixels, compared to non-HD videos at 640 by 480 pixels.



Don’t think all of the world’s video viewing problems are solved, however, as watching videos in HD requires far more bandwidth, and usually works best on a faster broadband connection.

The video immediately below was one of the first to appear on YouTube in "high definition" quality, but not wide-screen. This user has over 110K subscribers and drives a large portion of the YouTube community (original YouTube link):






Here is the same user with a modern widescreen HD video from November (warning, some suggestive language - original YouTube link):








These changes come as a part of a whole host of improvements Google is making in an effort to keep YouTube ahead of competitors (such as Hulu) and also deal with increasing issues involving the DMCA and the upload of copyrighted material by its users.



Google has built its own algorithm for the purpose of identifying newly uploaded videos that might violate copyright laws. Content owners give reference videos to YouTube, which are analyzed using their algorithm. In that way, when similar videos are uploaded, the owner of the original content can be notified.



The owner is then able to decide whether they allow the video to stay online where they can run ads next to it, or it can be taken down. This ability has fallen under some criticism, however, because have been instances where users with legitimate rights to the material had their videos taken down before they were asked to provide evidence that they could post the material. In these cases, ultimately the videos were put back up, but whey they are time sensitive the full number of views may have been lost.



YouTube has also started to incorporate links to Amazon.com and Apple’s iTunes store from posted content, which is aiding in the sale of DVD’s and other types of media.