Watch Video: YouTube has taken a further move towards true integration with the television with the launch of YouTube Leanback.
The new beta site at www.youtube.com/leanback is designed for users that don’t particularly want to spend their time surfing from Charlie bit by finger through to the skateboarding duck, but instead presents a high definition feed based on existing YouTube feeds and preferences. This includes content that friends have been sharing through Facebook, which can be integrated through the new site.
The computer keyboard acts as a virtual remote control, allowing viewers to skip to the next video, or scroll to find out what else might be available.
Leanback is an extension of a previous YouTube format known as YouTube XL. It will run on any Flash-based device, instantly ruling out accessibility from the iPad.
YouTube is beginning to emerge as a feature of over-the-top television services – Netgem has included it in its deployment of the TV-centric BigPond for Australian telco Telstra – but given parent Google’s plans its own TV ambitions should not be underestimated.
In May Google announced the support of Intel, Logitech, Sony, DISH Network, Best Buy and Adobe for its Google TV platform. Based on the Android platform, the devices will run the Google Chrome web browser. Users will be able to access linear TV channels, as well as drawing on the internet and cloud-based applications including Adobe Flash.
A full launch of Leanback is expected in the autumn.
Watch YouTube video on Leanback