Quoted from the YouTube Blog:
November 24, 2008 | Posted by: The YouTube Team | Permalink
Bigger Isn't Always Better... But in This Case, We Believe It Is
Over the years we've heard a lot of feedback from you about what you'd like to change about YouTube, and the size of our video player is always top of mind. That's why today we're excited to announce a bigger YouTube player.
We're expanding the width of the page to 960 pixels to better reflect the quality of the videos you create and the screens that you use to watch them. This new, wider player is in a widescreen aspect ratio which we hope will provide you with a cleaner, more powerful viewing experience. And don't worry, your 4:3 aspect ratio videos will play just fine in this new player.
As always, we welcome your feedback and encourage you to share your thoughts with us on this exciting, new change happening for all videos on YouTube.
Have fun watching!
The YouTube Team
While this is all fine and good for new HD 16:9 videos, this is bad for old SD 4:3 videos and old SD 16:9 videos ... or basically anything else on YouTube that was SD resolution (whether it be 1.85:1, 2.35:1). YouTube is trying to do better but once again, they've dropped the ball. Unlike Vimeo, YouTube has not given users the choice of either 4:3, 16:19, SD or HD preferences. Instead they now have limited it to HD 16:9 videos. Let's look through my YouTube library and see how this effects videos (old and new).
First we have what we would hope would happen to all our videos. I actually got quite lucky. I was considering uploading this video (see below) as an SD file to keep the filesize down but I decided to go HD instead even though it wouldn't matter since YouTube didn't support HD (well now it does). See how my video fills out the widescren aspect ratio nicely without any bars? Pretty huh? On to example B ...
Now this is one of my videos which was in a 16:9 aspect ratio but was at an SD resolution. See all that black around it? Pretty ugly and distracting huh? Before, when YouTube was 4:3 this video only had black bars on the top and bottom. Because it is only at SD resolution it does not fill out the whole video player any longer, not fair! On to example C . . .
Then we have one of my much older videos which was made to be true SD 4:3 aspect ratio and it suffers the most. See the black bars on the side? Totally and utterly distracting. They are even more distracting than if this was on the old YouTube player and the bars were on top and bottom. *Sigh*
Many YouTube users are pissed off. I'm not, not really. I no longer prefer YouTube aside from it being a house hold name and everyone knows how to use it. But sites like Veoh, Vimeo and DailyMotion have much better services. Please look into Vimeo, it probably has the best HD streaming right now, without effecting SD videos. Ever since Stage6 went under a view months back I would say Vimeo has been on top. I still really miss Stage6 though, that truly was something astonishing.
Anyway, YouTube still has some work to do. They need to find a way to appease both the SD and HD crowd. How? Well they can leave the SD videos alone and keep them in the 4:3 box they once were in and the widescreen video player could be left for the newer HD 16:9 videos. Then, all would be happy and YouTube can be on top of the video world again.
Also as a side-note YouTube Live went, well, live this weekend. Heard it sucks. YouTube is trying to hard to do everything at once, really. They need to calm it down and focus on creating a better video service as a basis before going out and trying to "upgrade".
I caught this video still in 4:3 ... this is what YouTube used to look like.
Peace. Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is Bliss.