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YouTube Classic is Coming to Your TV

by Jason Kasperski, Entertainment Editor, MostMost.Net

What’s old is new again.

That time-worn adage can be applied to what is happening in the media business as major players are making big deals that are slowly changing the distribution landscape of the future.

There’s nothing new about the internet on your TV. We have been hooking our computers and laptops to televisions for the past 10 years as technology has enabled us to download and watch full-length movies and episodic network programs.   But all that is going to change when the internet and the television completely merge, and that is going to happen sometime in the next 2-5 years.

YouTube, with the help of its corporate parent Google, will be on the forefront of that new technology wave.

About a year ago, the New York Times reported that YouTube was coming directly to your TV via YouTube.com/XL, which worked on any browser and could be seamlessly connected to a TV, a game console, a PC or another device.   It could be controlled not only with a keyboard, but also with a remote control.

Taking it one step further, Google and Intel have teamed with Sony to develop a platform called Google TV, which brings the Web into the living room through a new generation of televisions and set-top boxes.  There are some existing televisions and set-top boxes that offer access to Web content, but Google intends to open its TV platform, which is based on its Android operating system for smartphones, to software developers. The company hopes the move will spur the same outpouring of creativity that consumers have seen in applications for cellphones.

So, your TV will now be turned into one, large smartphone.  The consequences of this announcement are beyond enormous.

If this really does happen, and it looks certain that it will, Google will be one of a handful of companies that will be poised to completely take over the content distribution business. Right now Apple, with iTunes, is the premiere music distributor. With this new platform, Google, with the help of YouTube, just might take over television and rewrite the rules of how we consume filmed entertainment.

I can already see where they could take this.  A new YouTube ‘hybrid’ would benefit from the cable network model that developed in the 1990′s and was perfected over the past ten years.  Whereas there used to be just MTV, CNN or HBO, they now have offshoots and multiple, branded channels that handle an avalanche of new (and sometimes rehashed and re-run) content.

I envision YouTube to follow the ESPN model. YouTube. YouTube 2. YouTube News, YouTube International, and finally YouTube Classic.  It will be like a never-ending, ongoing Bob Saget home video show with anchors commenting on the latest ‘hot’ uploads. A complete, cross-hybrid of interactive and couch potato viewing. A way to point viewers, on their TVs, to the best and most recent postings.

I think this version of YouTube that we all use today will have outlived its usefulness in a few years, which is why Google sees the need to reinvent the property.  It’s the eight year-olds of today that will be riding this new wave of TV/Web hybrid.  When they come home from school they will be the ones logging on to Goggle TV to watch YouTube while Dad sits at the kitchen table with his fuddy-duddy laptop scanning for restaurant reviews.

That’s where YouTube Classic comes in, and will probably be the channel I watch the most.

Something has to be done with all those videos that have been uploaded over the years. Like some kind of archive, or library, the channel will be the only place you can travel back in time, in wide screen and Dolby stereo, to watch that party video you uploaded in 2006 back when you were single (and highly inebriated). Just make sure the family is out of earshot when doing so.

Bit of advice: invest in some wireless headphones.

Posted on Friday, May 28th, 2010 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “YouTube Classic is Coming to Your TV”

  1. David Gadarian says:

    Big fan of the wireless headphones! :)