When you tire of clips of flying dogs and sneezing pandas, YouTube is now also home to full-length TV shows and movies. The TV shows are largely sourced from Channel 4 and Five, with a smattering of content from other broadcasters.
Those hoping for an improvement on the dismal video quality on offer from 4 on Demand (see p114) will be more disappointed than contestants applying for the next series of Big Brother.
The highest resolution of any TV show we could find was 480p (480 pixels along the vertical), which made for uncomfortably blurry viewing on our 13in laptop, let alone our 38in TV.
It’s watchable but no more, and disappointing given that many of the shows have been broadcast in Full HD
It’s watchable but no more, and disappointing given that many of the shows have been broadcast in Full HD.
To add to the tedium, up to four pre-roll adverts appear before a show starts playing and more are inserted at regular intervals: if you’re going to ape TV broadcasts, you really need to offer TV picture quality.
On the plus side, YouTube appears to have unrestricted access to the Channel 4 and Five archives, with full series of many popular shows, past and present. And unlike 4 on Demand, there’s no compulsory registration needed.
YouTube also offers movies, although we couldn’t find anything of higher resolution than 480p, and the thin selection of films on offer can at best be described as esoteric.
There’s the odd gem (Ken Loach’s Cathy Come Home, for example), but this is more mid-afternoon on BBC2 than prime-time Sky Movies Premiere.
Internet TV software reviewed:
4 on Demand
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