YouTube goes Widescreen!
The largest video sharing site in the world has finally caught up with the rest of us. Their default video player has grown up from an out-of-date 4:3 aspect ratio to a big boy 16:9 aspect ratio. What does this mean? Not a whole lot, unless you're a filmmaker. Many folks (and cheap direct-to-YouTube cameras like the Flip) will still use a 4:3 image and upload fine. It will just sit in the middle of their 16:9 sibling and be "pillarboxed" with black bars on both sides. This is similar to "letterboxing" which is the slapping of the black bars on the top and bottom of a widescreen movie so it fits in a 4:3 box. Ironically, older letteboxed uploads (like this one from us) are now pillarboxed AND letterboxed. Humbug!
All this means is now people who shoot and upload in a wider format will get the satisfaction of a larger image that completely fills the YouTube frame. I'm not sure why it took them so long (sites like Vimeo and Blip have been doing this for quite awhile), but it is welcome move into the present.