As the Web’s leading purveyor of bite-sized video, YouTube (GOOG) created a world of media snackers. It’s a sit-forward experience for the most part, done at desks, offices and cubicles. But now YouTube is allowing partners to upload films, or long-form video up to 1GB in size. It’s actively scouring the festival circuit for unsold films for its “Screening Room” section. It will be YouTube’s first sit-back experience. Which means you should watch it on a big screen, right?
Not exactly: YouTube’s video quality is bad by Internet standards and worse by TV standards. YouTube isn’t alone in that regard; even Hulu, one of the better streaming video sites, looks jumpy and pixelated on a big screen. While YouTube raised video quality slightly in March, the company explained in a blog post why they didn’t go for full high-def video: “Our general philosophy is to make sure that as many people as possible can access YouTube and that videos start quickly and play smoothly.”
Now that YouTube is getting into long-form, that could change. In the meantime, if you do want to watch YouTube’s movies — or, more likely, its short clips — on TV, you’ve got to a bit of work to do it. Here’s some of what’s available now, and what’s coming in the near future:
- AppleTV: Apple’s (AAPL) $229 box, introduced a year ago, allows you to watch some but not all of the YouTube catalogue on the big screen.
- Sony Bravia Internet Video Link: Sony announced two weeks ago that Bravia TVs would stream YouTube via its Internet Video Link.
- HP MediaSmart: HP announced availability of YouTube as part of the HP MediaSmart platform.
- Nintendo Wii: Watch YouTube on the Opera browser for the Wii.
- Mac/PC + a cable: Many flat panel TVs have DVI or VGA digital inputs, making it easier than ever to hook your computer up to your TV.
- Panasonic: At CES 2008, Panasonic announced VieraCast, which allows you to access YouTube directly from your TV. The device will be available later this month.
- TiVo: Announced that YouTube would be available on their set-tops.
- Verismo: The IPTV startup has anounced availability of a YouTube-enabled device.
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