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Television Media The Internet Entertainment

YouTube Adds Full-Length Television Shows 197

thefickler writes "YouTube has moved to put full-length television shows on its site for the first time. Historically, YouTube has hosted a bewildering and attractive variety of video clips, the vast majority of which have been under ten minutes in length. YouTube has announced that it had finalized a deal with CBS to offer shows such as Star Trek, MacGyver, Beverly Hills 90210, and The Young and the Restless. I can't wait to watch The Young and the Restless!"
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YouTube Adds Full-Length Television Shows

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  • Still using Flash (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daengbo ( 523424 ) <daengbo@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:32AM (#25353353) Homepage Journal
    I'd like to see Google switch over to the video tag and a free codec. That would make everything perfect.
    • Re:Still using Flash (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:51AM (#25353483)

      I don't disagree that I would like to see that happen, but think about it from the perspective from someone who works at GooTube and wants to keep that job: would it really make sense to switch to a brand-new standard only supported by [let's be generous] 25% of the market?

      Ok, you may respond, why not maintain two parallel versions of the site: one for legacy users and one for browsers that support the new standards? And to that I say, it's a little bit hard to go to management and ask for the resources and time to implement a second parallel version of a service that already works splendidly well.

      I would be just as happy as you if YouTube started offering video streams in other formats and other access methods. Until they do, though, I'll continue watching their FLV streams directly with VLC. The newly-released 0.9.2 even has a Lua scriptlet specifically designed to allow you to drop a YouTube URL directly into the playlist.

      Not good, but good enough. At least you don't need Flash.

      • The newly-released 0.9.2 even has a Lua scriptlet specifically designed to allow you to drop a YouTube URL directly into the playlist.

        How do you do this? I can open a Youtube URL manually by choosing Media-Open Network and then pasting the URL, but drag and dropping a URL into the playlist as you suggest doesn't seem to work (Firefox 3 and VLC 0.9.4 Windows, btw).

      • "And to that I say, it's a little bit hard to go to management and ask for the resources and time to implement a second parallel version of a service that already works splendidly well."

        This is Google we're talking about here. The most recent update to YouTube is a button that reads back your comment to you. The question is not "whether they can justify it to management", the question is "will anyone do it".

        Then again, that button is pretty awesome.

    • Switching now would be rather premature, given that the HTML5 spec isn't set yet. In fact, they still have a big red box for what codecs are a must in all browsers, because no one can finally make up their mind and just use mp4/h264 already.

      • by delt0r ( 999393 )
        Are you going to pay the license fees for Firefox? It would be about 3-5Million! Perhaps you can get one of those cheap US loans..
    • Is MPEG4 not free?

      • Re:Still using Flash (Score:4, Informative)

        by Daengbo ( 523424 ) <daengbo@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:18AM (#25353691) Homepage Journal

        MPEG-4 contains patented technologies that require licensing in countries that acknowledge software patents. Patents covering MPEG-4 are claimed by over two dozen companies. The MPEG Licensing Authority[1] licenses patents required for MPEG-4 Part 2 Visual from a wide range of companies (audio is licensed separately) and lists all of its licensors and licensees on the site. New licenses for MPEG-4 System patents are under development[2] and no new licenses are being offered while holders of its old MPEG-4 Systems license are still covered under the terms of that license for the patents listed (MPEG LA â" Patent List). AT&T is trying to sue companies such as Apple Inc. over alleged MPEG-4 patent infringement.[3] The terms of Apple's Quicktime 7 license for users[4] describes in paragraph 14 the terms under Apple's existing MPEG-4 System Patent Portfolio license from MPEGLA.[1] [wikipedia.org]

        No, it's not.

      • Re:Still using Flash (Score:5, Informative)

        by MasterOfMagic ( 151058 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:32AM (#25353787) Journal

        No, but Theora and Dirac are. Theora [theora.org] is from the Xiph open source community (the same people that do cdparanoia, FLAC, Speex, and Vorbis). The FSF has recommended its use along with Vorbis audio for some time now. Dirac [diracvideo.org] is from the BBC.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
          With all the patent trolls, nobody knows whether those technologies are patent free either. From the Dirac FAQ [diracvideo.org].

          Do you infringe any patents?

          The short answer is that we don't know for certain, but we're pretty sure we don't.

          We haven't employed armies of lawyers to trawl through the tens of thousands of video compression techniques. That's not the way to invent a successful algorithm. Instead we've tried to use techniques of long standing in novel ways.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aztracker1 ( 702135 )
      Okay, so dump a system that 98% of the people browsing the internet have support for, in favor of something people have to jump through hoops for?

      Given, I would like to see the inclusion of h.264 in Flash as a supported format for video. VC-1 would work as well (even if it is from MS). I wouldn't expect to see Theora or the like supported on YouTube any time soon, unless it is as widely available as flash is. Flash is a PITA on x64 Linux, I am well aware of this, however, from a business standpoint y
      • For 320x240 FLVs to play smoothly, I have to throw a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo at the problem.

        "Real" formats play fine on my old 1.2GHz iBook G4 - even at higher resolutions.

        So, Flash is NOT a PITA on only the most recent systems, but only if you're not running Linux/x64.

    • by Talderas ( 1212466 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:56AM (#25354033)

      However, seeing as though they will be showing MacGyver, Google will only have a paper clip, post-it notes, and 4 bullet casings to complete the objective.

  • by Tx ( 96709 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:34AM (#25353369) Journal

    ...Hulu sucks, since it won't stream outside the USA. No mention in the article as to whether YouTube will add regional restrictions on these full-length shows, but let's hope they can convince the studios otherwise. If not, well, bittorrent works just fine.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FireFury03 ( 653718 )

      Does anyone seriously want to watch full length TV shows in a tiny box in their browser in crumby YouTube quality?!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:44AM (#25353443)


        • Yes Squared. I watched the Canadian CBC-produced DaVinci's Inquest on youtube, and it looked just fine when blown-up to full screen size. About the same as over-the-air overly-compressed SDTV. ;-)

          The only drawback was the show was divided into ten-minute segments. I'm glad to see youtube will now allow 45-50 minute long episodes.

      • by kentrel ( 526003 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:46AM (#25353451) Journal
        Youtube offer better-than-TV resolution. Check out their high-quality option, which you can view full screen.
        • by dosius ( 230542 ) <bridget@buric.co> on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:49AM (#25353465) Journal

          The videos are still encoded to 480x360 at the most. That's hardly "better than TV".


          • I've never seen a high-quality option. You just get what you get.

            Analog television maxes-out at 480x486, so youtube would be about the same as analog if it had lots of macroblocking.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            The videos are still encoded to 480x360 at the most. That's hardly "better than TV".


            It's at a point where with most shows it really doesn't matter. It's not like TV was the lowest point you could possibly go to make out what's going on.

            This conversation is academic anyway. If YouTube is going to compete with Hulu AND with its users, chances are the quality will be higher than what they have right now. You're better off waiting-and-seeing than saying you don't like the numbers and never checking it out.

        • by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMnexusuk.org> on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:59AM (#25353533) Homepage

          Youtube offer better-than-TV resolution. Check out their high-quality option, which you can view full screen.

          If you say so... I have yet to see a YouTube video encoded anywhere close to 768x576 (SDTV resolution), and resolution aside, they don't come close to broadcast quality from the encoding point of view either.

          In an era when people are interested in HDTV (1920x1080), making a big deal about a crappy sub-SDTV streaming service seems a bit nuts.

          (Note: I'm not one who believes in bothering with HDTV for most stuff - maybe nature programmes, etc, but certainly not worthwhile for anything with a story - but I do draw the line at watching significant amounts of YouTube quality TV).

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            I was totally agreeing with until I saw my young niece watch some children serie through youtube without even bothering to put it full screen...not that she's technologically impaired but it's only that she was instant messaging around, browsing and "studying" in the meantime.

            • by Kintanon ( 65528 )

              I do this too. I use TVU, surfthechannel.com and the NBC/CBS online episodes and they look just fine in a little 640x480 section of my screen while I have a web browser and pidgin and whatever else I'm doing open on the rest of the screen(s). I wouldn't stream it out to a projector 100" wide, but it's perfect for what I do use it for.

          • You may be right that Youtube's is still inferior to Tv's resolution, although I find it good enough for watching on the computer or on an ordinary 5 years old TV... And it's even better than a worn-out VHS ;)

            But that's not the point here : the important thing is that they're streaming full episodes, legally, on youtube. That's a change in policy, it sets a good precedent, and it could even help to make the average consumer think about so-called piracy ("why can't I download it off mininova if I can watc
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by lufo ( 949075 )

        Does anyone seriously want to watch full length TV shows in a tiny box in their browser in crumby YouTube quality?!

        What else can you do during your boss' lunch time?

      • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
        It is to watch the Simpsons. Seriously, do you need high quality for that ?
      • Which is why I watch YouTube on my TV. I installed a GreaseMonkey Script [userscripts.org] that will send the URL of a YouTube video to Xbox Media Center. After a little bit of caching, the movie plays.

      • I watch full-screen in youtube, but yes. Couldn't care less about the quality as long as I can see what's going on. If the resolution's too high the effects look stupider... radio drama has the best resolution.

        Does anyone seriously want to stand up, leave their computer and walk over to a TV in order to watch something? Why not have everything in one place? Why suffer moments of separation from the internet?

    • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:42AM (#25353431)
      This is region-locked the US also.
    • by Tx ( 96709 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:51AM (#25353475) Journal

      Hate replying to my myself, but went to find one of these full-length Trek episodes, clicked on it: "This video is not available in your country". So much for that.

      • I bet there are a bajillion free web proxies in the US you could use to pretend to be from the US so you can watch some crappy TV show made in the US via an officially sanctioned method.

        There are two other solutions besides using a free web proxy in the US: download shows via bittorrent/p2p tools OR dont watch the crappy shows at all. I personally don't watch them even though I have access to the network on my own TV or could apparently view this on the web as I am in the US.

        • You lost your bet. I spent days searching for something like that.

          There are only some open proxies, and either they are incredibly horribly slow, or they cost money and still are very slow. And all of them require some invasive untrustworthy "client" to be installed for no reason. I bet most of them are just spyware and the modify your packets on-the-fly.

          My nearly perfect solution for series is, to create a proper search query trough btjunkie.org, and then add the resulting rss-feed to my mldonkey. Some add

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Your "nearly perfect" solution seems way more complicated than necessary but to each his own.

            As for my "bet" maybe you need to practice on google searching, I did a single search and found this

            http://www.freeproxy.info/en/free_proxy/cgi-proxy.htm [freeproxy.info]

            The few I tried worked right off the bat.

            I suppose doing something like TOR might work too.. though you might not get a US proxy I suppose. Maybe their are config options? I've never even downloaded it or seen it in use.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

              Have you actually tried them? Outside the US?
              I doubt that.

              You see, I know most of them. They do not work.

              Just go on hulu.com and try watching a video. You can't.

              That was the point of having a proxy in this discussion. Point lost.

              "YOU'RE WINNER ! [wikipedia.org]"

      • Hate replying to my myself, but went to find one of these full-length Trek episodes, clicked on it: "This video is not available in your country". So much for that.

        How hard is it to get a US proxy?

      • Have you tried CBS.com? Full-length versions of all the shows listed in the summary have been available on the CBS website for quite awhile - including original Trek. They've also got most of the original Twilight Zone series, which I've been working though myself. It could still be region-locked though - I'm in the US.

        • by schon ( 31600 )

          I just tried it, and every single episode I tried said "You have requested a video that has expired. Please visit www.cbs.com for current videos."

          So either their site is fscked, or they're displaying a generic error message for people outside the US (in which case, their site is fscked.)

    • by Scutter ( 18425 )

      Let us know when the BBC opens their content to the rest of the world.

      • by EvilMonkeySlayer ( 826044 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:08AM (#25353609) Journal
        Don't be so obtuse.

        If you haven't noticed the BBC isn't ad sponsored, it's UK license fee paid. How are they meant to cover the costs of international streaming? Youtube does streaming of their video internationally paid for by advertising with a well built back-end that can handle it.

        Comparing the BBC's iPlayer license fee paid service to the ad-sponsored Youtube is like comparing Apples and Oranges.
        • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

          They're both fruit. Yes, you can compare them.

          As for the 'ad-based' being different, why? It still takes revenue to stream them, and sponsors in the US aren't going to be willing to sponsor the overseas traffic. So once again, the people who pay the bills (ad-watchers in the US, in this case) are the ones that get to the see the content, just like the BBC.

        • Okay BBC is supported by taxes (a tax by any other name, is still a tax).

          What about the commercial-supported European networks? They too block access to U.S. viewers.

        • by Deag ( 250823 )

          This is false, outside of the UK, the BBC is ad supported and this includes their website, so the comparison is perfectly valid.

        • by Hatta ( 162192 )

          Host a torrent and let us take care of the bandwidth.

      • by 1u3hr ( 530656 )
        Let us know when the BBC opens their content to the rest of the world.

        The BBC is funded by British taxpayers. Youtube is funded by the ads on the page.

        Anyway, 10 minutes of crappy small-screen video with the occasional buffering pause is about all I can handle. I'll stick to downloading AVI files and burning them to DVD for anything longer.

      • by ozphx ( 1061292 )

        You decided you didn't want colonial TV, and went off to go and make your own shitty shows. Unless you want to pay a hundred years of back taxes to the Queen, you can all bugger orf as twere.

        No backsies.

      • BBC Radio is open the rest of the world.
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      Sorry, the studio systems are still locked into an ancient distribution system where they sell distribution rights based on country or region. The whole "internet" thing is still confusing to them.
  • Hulu vs. The World (Score:5, Insightful)

    by junglee_iitk ( 651040 ) * on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:35AM (#25353377)

    The new services also put YouTube head to head with Hulu, competing directly for the full-length television show viewer. Hulu currently has more of this sort of content than does YouTube, but YouTube has the lionâ(TM)s share of the Web video audience. It is estimated that YouTube has 100 times the viewers that Hulu has.

    It might have to done something with the fact that Hulu's "video library can only be streamed within the United States".

    Some people go to great lengths to put their feet over an axe, just to see if it hurts or not.

  • What Next? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nicknamenottaken ( 1384173 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:38AM (#25353409)
    I think it is a smart idea to have star trek on youtube to compensate for the rest of the proposed garbage listed in the story. Hopefully the trend of 1 in 4 television shows on youtube not being garbage will continue.
    • by White Flame ( 1074973 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:44AM (#25353441)

      Wait a sec, you're calling MacGyver "garbage" on a nerd website?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by rhyder128k ( 1051042 )
        Thank god. No more having to watch the old episodes through a hacked together cable decoder box that I made out of a paperclip, some tin foil and two bits of shoe lace.
    • But the 90210 characters were so compelling! There was that handsome dude with the sideburns, and that other handsome dude with the slightly pointier sideburns, and that ditsy blond chic, and that other ditsy blond chick.

      How could you not love a show with rich, beautiful people whining about how tough their lives are?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jcr ( 53032 )

        That's the most concise and accurate review of a television show I've ever read. Well done.


  • Censorship Sucks. (Score:2, Interesting)

    Californication is censored, both language and nudity-wise, on YouTube. Normally for most programs it wouldn't matter, but it was the raunchy stuff that really propelled the comedy along in this case. Either have the full-length shows uncensored (possibly with a warning for moral individuals), or GTFO.
  • Several times I've found some interesting TV series and decided to watched a few episodes, only to have to endure the task of finding all the parts, which are never listed in any sort of order in the "Related videos" list for this type of use. And then there is the problem with the "QuickList" not clearing videos that you have removed from it, or occasionally not adding one, or forgetting some next time the page loads, forcing you to try and find the parts again.

  • Lots of the other sites with full length shows interrupt the action in odd places to add in ads and the resume on the show is breaky and odd.

    Also Hulu is not the only competition for this service it seems especially for nostalgia really old shows that there are a couple of services offering this.

    I watched Chico and the Man on AOL video for example. I hit Barney Miller on Hulu I believe and aren't there other sites as well?

  • CBS only? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by themightythor ( 673485 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:10AM (#25353625)

    The shows and their original networks:

    Star Trek: NBC
    MacGyver: ABC
    BH 90210: Fox
    Y & R: CBS

    I guess I don't understand how these things work...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Star Trek: Paramount
      MacGyver: Paramount
      DH 90210: Paramount
      Y & R: CBS

      Paramount is now known as CBS Corporation. The Wiki [wikipedia.org] has more info. Just because a show airs on one station doesn't mean that station owns the rights to that show. Although it does look like Paramount/CBS has had a change of heart: In February 2007, Viacom sent upwards of 100,000 DMCA takedown notices to the video-sharing site YouTube, alleging large-scale copyright infringement. Of the 100,000, approximately 60â"70 non-infringing v

    • by hal2814 ( 725639 )

      Who owns the rights to a television show has little to do with who aired it originally. The "CBS" in question here is the distribution arm of CBS Paramount. In Star Trek's case, CBS handles both Desilu (old Trek) and Paramount (new Trek). I'm pretty sure MacGuyver was also Paramount. I'm guessing if 90210 is listed, they handle distribution for Spelling. I have no idea who produces Y&R but I'd wager it's a production company wholly owned by CBS. Older production companies have merged to the point

  • Please no (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes AT xmsnet DOT nl> on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:16AM (#25353669)

    With short clips the YouTube UI is bad enough. For full-length TV shows I want:
    - a UI that can be controlled from arbitrary input devices, e.g. an IR remote and rotary controller (Griffin Powermate). Sitting at your computer doesn't cut it, I want control from my comfy chair.
    - a full-featured UI with controls for skip forward/reverse (at short/long intervals), aspect ratio, mute, etc.
    Basically, I want the VLC UI.

  • "This video is not available in your territory". Great, locality-based DRM.

    BTW, what's with the !jewtube tag ?

  • Cable providers realize that if free or very low cost wireless becomes a reality and widespread more content providers will move to web distribution; using either commercial or subscription models. That will lessen the value of their cable franchise as consumers no longer want or need large bundles; forcing them to change their pricing structure to compete. As a side "benefit" they potentially will lose the internet and VIOP business as well as people move to the wireless option. Meanwhile, the big conten

    • White-space devices won't hurt just Cable companies but also over-the-air viewers, because the WSDs have been demonstrated to not detect "weak" stations from long-distance locations (50-60 miles away).

      As a result, the WSDs broadcast directly over top of existing programming. That is not acceptable. Over-the-air viewers have already given-up channels 52 to 83. Why can't WSDs use *that* spectrum and leave channels 2-51 alone???

  • by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:40AM (#25353861)

    Seriously. One of the things I hate about watching TV is the fact that you have to depend on a station to carry a show, and play it, all of it. It's fine when it hits the rerun zone, but there is no real assurance they will play it totally and in the intended order. So, much of my 20th century TV watching was watching the repeats waiting for what I didn't see to come around.

    The first stuff I started to see was on AOL's in2tv. They screwed up Rocky and Bullwinkle, one of "those" series where order and completeness matters, not so much that they don't carry a season but they broke up their "show" into their various little shows. Now we have Veoh and Hulu, and the quality of both is pretty good.

    So it makes me wonder, now that these things exist, sites that carry series that have little to no commercial value, what point is there to 100+ channels? Seriously it's reached the point that I should actually ditch the cable since all of my TV needs save the local news are covered online. Even cartoon network.

    • So it makes me wonder, now that these things exist, sites that carry series that have little to no commercial value, what point is there to 100+ channels?

      Merchandising, of course! [asontvinfomercials.com]

    • >>> "now that these things exist, sites that carry series that have little to no commercial value, what point is there to 100+ channels?"

      Ding, ding, ding! This is precisely why Comcast has implemented that 15-minute "bandwidth hog" window. They want to slowdown video streams from sites like nbc.com, fox.com, cwtv.com, et cetera. They call it bandwidth management, but it's really about blocking high bitrate television watching.

  • Key word missing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BigBadBus ( 653823 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:46AM (#25353933) Homepage
    I think the word "legally" is missing in the write-up. Episodes of some TV shows have been available for quite a while now; I watched an episode of Star Trek Voyager I had missed on YouTube many months ago.
  • One of the biggest mistakes that large copyright holders make is hording their older assets. If they've made a heck of a lot of money on them, why not release them into a mostly free venue, so that they can scoop in more potential customers? It's worked for Microsoft; they turned piracy into a way to keeping people focused on Windows and Windows-based products.

  • Vimeo at least does true HD video. Makes a huge difference when I'm using a 32" LCD for a computer monitor.

  • WTF is wrong with Hulu, Fox, YouTube and the likes? Why obstinately limit themselves to the American market when it comes to online broadcasting? Why fight over the same fucking market when the European market (or as a matter of fact any other) is still waiting for a single decent offer. Why the hell won't they understand that the web can be treated like TV, if only they took the pain to provide the same kind of content! I mean, it's like they just don't see any potential there, or the little they see isn't
    • WTF is wrong with Hulu, Fox, YouTube and the likes? Why obstinately limit themselves to the American market when it comes to online broadcasting?

      Because internet transit bandwidth costs money, and international transit bandwidth costs more money than US-only bandwidth?

      • by 4D6963 ( 933028 )
        I eagerly await how you're going to explain how regular video sites like YouTube or Google Video don't care about that sort of excuse. No seriously, that was a poor explanation.
  • So, in the past couple of months we've seen several folks come out and support free streaming of TV shows and movies, most notably IMDB [imdb.com] and now Youtube [youtube.com]. What I am noticing is that none of it appears to be exclusive streaming -- most of these shows have been licensed to just about everybody. I guess from the network technology perspective, this is a good thing, so as to avoid a popular server from slashdotting one particular site. But from a competition perspective, is this really a good thing? I mean, if
  • US-ONLY! :( (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spy der Mann ( 805235 ) <spydermann.slash ... il.com minus cat> on Monday October 13, 2008 @09:39AM (#25354515) Homepage Journal

    So, this means I won't have to pirate the videos to watch my favorite shows?

    Think again.

    "This video is not available in your country."

    Oh well, at least I know a site [thepiratebay.org] that DOES let me play the videos in my country - and without ads.

  • So the big question, as far as I can see, is whether the show will be merely supported by ads, perhaps pre- and post-, or if it will be interrupted by non-skippable ads, which will be a thorough dealbreaker.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"