YouTube XL For Television

What is it?

In January 2009, YouTube, the defacto user generated content website released a new interface designed for viewing at the ten foot distance. Visitors using the Wii or PS3 are be able to access the ten foot distance pages shown here.

Strangely YouTube XL uses browser sniffing so even if you access the URL http://youtube.com/xl from a normal PC browser you will be re-derected to a home page different from the regular YouTube. If you change the User Agent string of your browser then you can fool the YouTube server to return these new pages, for example see the User Agent Switcher for Firefox.

The YouTube XL for Television home page shows columns for the Most Viewed, Top Rated, Featured and Most Recent videos.

Selecting the Videos tab lets you refine the view. Note the list that drops down just by hovering over the list and the horizontal page scrolling.

Hovering the wiimote over the player window displays the player controls. These controls are larger than the standard website, suitable for distance viewing. Dragging the marker on the progress bar allows you to jump to any part of the clip. Note the fullscreen button on the right of the controls.

If not viewing from a Wii then the YouTube XL has a different black background and slightly larger text than the standard website. Navigation of the website (viewing listings, starting a video etc) can be accomplished using the keyboard arrow and return keys so it is possible to configure a remote control to do these actions. However the player controls (pause, play, go full screen etc) can only be accessed with a mouse by hovering over the video pane.

Linking into your tv-true platform

Using the Wii or PS3 browser you can visit http://youtube.com/xl web page. Regular browser will need to change their User Agent string.

How tv-true is it?

Some of the text is too small for distance viewing e.g. when hovering over a video link to show the full title, duration and star rating. Also the black text colour on white background is not ideal. There is no doubting YouTube's desire for this interface to be as simple as possible and workable from the sofa.

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