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YouTube Goes Even Wider?

Here's a strange development. The largest video sharing site in the world has just made their HD player even wider, forcing even 16:9 videos to be "pillarboxed" (black bars are added on the sides to fill the empty space). What is the purpose of this? The YouTube forums are reporting that to now fill this CinemaScope-sized area your movie must now be even wider that what is possible on modern video cameras. I guess you just shoot a full resolution and then crop to whatever this new size is (there's no official word yet), but it seems rather silly.

I'm very much a wider-is-better kind of person. I championed letterboxing on 4:3 televisions so I could see the director's entire vision, even if it meant a smaller picture. What I don't understand is why you would create a format that will only be beneficial to so few. You can't upload directly to this format. You could shoot 16:9 with an anamorphic lens and get this new aspect ratio (I guess), but how many people shoot that way?

I think Google needs to be more in touch with their users before they release format changes like this. This seems to be something no one wanted, yet was implemented anyway. Is that really good business?


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