According to the most recent post on Mashable, YouTube has officially gone widescreen although, for some reason, the post on the YouTube blog itself has disappeared, but no matter, one look at the user-generated video site and you’ll see that it’s true. Looks weird but good, doesn’t it?
Once you get adjusted to the fact that everything looks like your watching Marlboro Country, it’s actually quite impressive. Take a look at this one, for example.
The player still embeds at 4:3 – not sure if they’re going to add a 16:9 option or not – and for the moment you just get the black bands at the top and bottom of the screen. Likewise, it looks pretty horrible on the site itself when you watch one of the old 4:3 videos, like this one.
Perhaps weirdest of all are the videos that look like they were uploaded in widescreen but the new system hasn’t quite picked them up properly. So, you end up with a video that fits the new aspect ratio exactly with a big, even black frame around it, like this one. Very silly.
So, conclusions? Well, there’s some horrible teething effects but the YouTube of the future looks pretty good to me, and all this two months after I’m up all night trying to fix the aspect ratio of my Allison Carroll video to look normal. Still, combine all this with YouTube’s recent forays into hi-def and we’re looking at a much better service.