Sarcasm notwithstanding, the sentiment in the above video is held by many people – “YouTube is a site of millions of sucky videos.” I have, in the past, argued against that statement here, here, here, and here. Until recently, a valid argument for YouTube’s suckiness would have been that high quality video was not an option. Today, that is no longer an issue and it’s ushering in a whole new incentive to get YouTube into new arenas such as the home theater market, and mobile computing realms. So what new places is YouTube popping up? Would it be a gross overstatement if I said “everywhere”? Without addressing further the argument of there being good and valuable content on YouTube, here is a list of some of the interesting places that YouTube is rearing its far-from-ugly head.
New LCD and plasma panels – Manufacturers are starting to experiment with the idea of networked flat panel TVs. YouTube is one of the services included in Panasonic’s Viera Cast TV, and Sony’s Bravia Internet Video Link Module, an add-on that attaches to Sony’s Bravia televisions.
Streaming Media set-top boxes – These devices are connected to the Internet, either through WiFi or wired Ethernet. Apple TV was one of the first to offer YouTube as an option for video content, in addition to playing movies, music, photos and podcasts from your iTunes library. Vudu is a set-top box for movies on-demand and adds YouTube access. Netgear, makers of networking hardware, is dipping its toe into the YouTube pool, and Tivo looks to have a pretty robust implementation as well.
Update: Add a Kodak box to the list.
iPhone – Though Apple is now boasting that it has had over 500 million apps downloaded and 15,000 apps are available in the iTunes store, there is a built-in You Tube application for the iPhone. It connects directly to YouTube and plays the h.264 versions of the videos. The quality and the experience is first rate, unless you’re trying to access it over the slower EDGE network, then the fun subsides quite quickly. Oh, and Windows Mobile (ick!) has a YouTube Player too.
DVD players and game consoles – Soon, in addition to watching your Blu-ray movies and Netflix Watch Now content, owners of the new line of LG networked Blu-ray players will also be able to connect to the YouTube service. Also, recently announced was the addition of YouTube interfaces for Sony’s PS3 and the Nintendo Wii.
PowerPoint – I’ve talked about this before, but just in case you don’t know, it is fairly simple to Embed YouTube videos in PowerPoint.
Plugins for WordPress – Again not anything new, but a reminder that there are easy plug-ins available for the WordPress blogging (excuse me, web publishing) platform to embed your YouTube videos into posts. Anarchy and Viper’s Video Quicktags are two examples. There is also a built-in YouTube Plugin for Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer, which I still use (and am using now) to write my blogs posts, even though the WordPress interface is much improved with version 2.7.
Now that’s a lot of places to put your lame videos!