Posts Tagged ‘video’

YouTube Gets a Makeover

January 22, 2010

It seems that YouTube is already moving on its revisions to the service, announced two days ago, in an attempt to give the whole site a more unified look and feel.

The YouTube blog has been a hive of activity over the past few days, between announcements that we’d see the service revamped and the announcement that it would be offering movies from independent filmmakers for rental. Still, it seems as though the biggest change so far has been to the video page (that is to say, the video that anyone using the service might currently be viewing). The whole aim of the redesign seems to have been to emphasise the content being delivered, which is fairly evident.

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YouTube Announces Spring Clean

January 13, 2010

YouTube has announced that it’s to run an early “Spring cleaning” project to help ensure that users have a more robust on-site experience with the video service.

According to a posting on the YouTube blog, the by no practically ubiquitous video service’s staff will be setting aside a significant proportion of if time to help tighten up the site’s design and overall user experience. Of course, there’s not too much to tell us just what we can expect to see out of YouTube’s upcoming shift, but it there are some hints to be had.

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Cinema Sales Outpace Discs in 2009

January 6, 2010

It’s been a long time since cinema sales last managed to outperform sales of disc-based media for movies, but it seems that in 2009 cinema has managed to push past discs again.

According to Adams Media Research, the strong performance from cinemas was bolstered by the release of “3D exhibition at a premium price,” which seems as though it could be a fairly roundabout way of saying that Avatar has been performing so very well that it’s managed to pull in crowds that cinemas haven’t seen in quite a while. Indeed, it seems that 3D cinema provides enough spectacle to draw in big crowds, with the news that Avatar has managed to pull become the fourth biggest grossing film ever, already.

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Skype Reaches Out Through HDTVs

January 6, 2010

Skype has announced today that, as part of a partnership with Panasonic, it wil be adding its voice over internet protocol (VOIP) software to Panasonic’s line of Viera HDTVs.

Panasonic’s new line of Viera cast-enabled tellies is set to hit during the still-vague “2010”, and with Skype coming pre-installed the company will be able to boast free Skype-to-Skype video calling out of the box, which is no mean feat at all. It’ll also be attractive to those who’ve been looking to ditch their house phones but can’t quite get around to it or for some reason or another don’t like the idea of a physical Skype-phone.

In a market with an atmosphere like the current HDTV market, where many products appear (to the casual observer, at least) to be fairly similar, the ability to make calls directly from one TV to another for free could well be a big selling point for the folks at Panasonic, to say nothing of the positive effect that broadening the software’s userbase will have for Skype, which essentially trades on the fact that it’s so widely used and relatively cheap.

Naturally, a wider userbase increases the likelihood that people will use some of Skype’s fee-based services too. While the option to call or videocall other Skype users is a pleasant one, the real bonus is, of course, in the ability to call other phones for less than the normal charge. It might well be a bit of a hard sell for some, but it’s not bad if it’s something that just comes as an add-on for a TV.

We’ll be curious to see how well Panasonic does out of the deal; it certainly won’t hurt the company to be able to offer something that others aren’t though, and cheap phone calls are a big draw.

YouTube Wants More of Your Time

December 31, 2009

YouTube might well serve over a billion videos a day, but it turns out the average user only spends fifteen minutes a day on the service… something that YouTube wants to rectify.

According to the New York Times, the folks at YouTube are working on tightening up the suggested videos that the video streaming service shows its users in an attempt to have them spend more time on the site per day. YouTube’s director of product management, Hunter Walk, aside from having a very impressive name, is working on the problem, and he sees telly as the model to emulate, saying,

“Our average user spends 15 minutes a day on the site. They spend about five hours in front of the television. People say ‘YouTube is so big,’ but I really see that we have a ways to go.”

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Google to Run Games Through YouTube?

December 30, 2009

It looks as though Google might be trying to ease its way into casual gaming with a patent that’s emerged this week detailing plans for building games on top of hosted video.

Word comes from Bnet that Google’s patent, which was filed way back in February of this year but only published now, is simply titled, “Web-Based System for Generation of Interactive Games Based on Digital Videos” and describes a way to add interactive features to a digital video and “in particular to interactive video annotations enabling control of playback locations and creation of interactive games.” It certainly sounds like an interesting idea, and one that would allow for some fairly interesting “Choose Your Own Adventure” projects… if nothing else.

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Automatic Subtitles Rolling Out on Youtube

November 23, 2009

Google has announced that it is to deploy automatic captions across certain YouTube channels in an attempt to reach out to deaf users and make the service a little more accessible.

In a post about the latest update on the Official Google Blog, the company points out that for as long as it’s had the ability to add captions to YouTube videos, it’s had the ability to add multiple caption tracks. The new captions are automatically generated, which means that videos on any of the channels offering subtitles will, for now, be machine generated. While we’re sure that’ll cause some issues with lost-in-translation moments, it’s certainly the best way of gearing up to caption a significant portion of YouTube’s content.

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YouTube To Launch FullHD Video

November 16, 2009

YouTube has announced that it is to bump its streaming quality up to 1080p, for those who have a device capable of showing video at that resolution.

YouTube logo

According to a post on the official YouTube blog, the current “high quality” option for videos on YouTube sees video streamed at 720p, which does still qualify as “high definition” but for many isn’t considered to be true HD, a title often bandied around during the early days of this console generation and the days when HD-DVD and Blu-Ray started to appear.

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YouTube Suffers Outages

November 2, 2009

Last night YouTube had a bit of an up-and-down experience, with some users having difficult accessing the service at all, while others were able to get to the page but unable to load videos.

YouTube logo

Late yesterday evening we caught the “YouTube is down for maintenance and will return shortly message,” though as soon as we asked about it on Twitter we were informed that if there had been any downtime it’d been short lived, as it was working for just about everyone else. Now though, word comes from Mashable that YouTube was indeed experiencing pronounced issues last night.

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Happy Halloween Guys :)

October 30, 2009

Hey there all, hopefully you’ve had a good week so far. I know those students who are off this week have likely enjoyed it more than the rest of us (and envy them accordingly). For those who aren’t into the swing of things yet, every Friday we like to post a “just for smiles” blog post as our last one before the weekend. Y’know, there are only two hours left of the working week, might as well kill five minutes of them with a look at some silliness.

The above is by a Japanese band called Sour. I don’t know the whole back story to it, just that I like the video a lot and it always cheers me up. It’s well worth a watch. It’s a solid Friday pick-me-up.

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