January 15 2009 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Entertainment Year: 2009 Rating: 2
Upwards of 50 million people have access to web video through their televisions today thanks to Google, Sony and Nintendo, who have collaborated to bring YouTube videos to the Wii (50 million units sold by March) and PS3 (12 million units sold) through a custom version of the popular site modified for larger home screens.
From the YouTube blog: Currently in beta, the TV Website offers a dynamic, lean-back, 10-foot television viewing experience through a streamlined interface that enables you to discover, watch and share YouTube videos on any TV screen with just a few quick clicks of your remote control. With enlarged text and simplified navigation, it makes watching YouTube on your TV as easy and intuitive as possible. Optional auto-play capability enables users to view related videos sequentially, emulating a traditional television experience. The TV Website is available internationally across 22 geographies and in over 12 languages.
Many bloggers, including this one, have been anticipating this moment for some time, speculating that 2009 will at last be the year of Web Video on TV. Today's mostrous event clinches that moniker, making it extremely likely that by year's end upwards of 100 million game console viewers will have access to YouTube and other web video broadcast platforms through their traditional televisions. (Simply factor in the XBox reaction and ongoing Wii and PS3 sales.)
Couple that with the explosion of TV units capable of playing online video and we could be looking at 150-200 million total devices, a future that Google is looking to accelerate:
As previously blogged, YouTube has partnered directly with major TV and set-top box manufacturers to bring YouTube into the living room. Still, very few such devices today contain a Web browser or provide access to YouTube. Our hope is that this site may help to accelerate an industry evolution towards open television access to Web video. Over time, we plan to add support for additional TV devices that provide Web browsers.
Boosting my confidence in this trend is the fact that I just tried YouTube on my TV at home (via PS3) and am happy to report that it works great. Even though we shot most of our footage on low-rez Flip Cams, MemeBox's YouTube channel looks crisp and is very easy to navigate.
Score a big victory for YouTube! Today, January 15, 2009, is the tipping point for TV and Web Video convergence.