Posted June 3, 2009 1:27 pm by with 2 comments

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YouTube is finally preparing to take on Hulu with premium content and better quality video from YouTube XL—preparing for a real big screen interface. You know, such as a television. Hulu is rather adamant about not going to television, so this could get to be a bit of a big deal.

youtube xl menu

Mashable’s Ben Parr reviews YouTube XL and says it looks pretty impressive:

what exactly does YouTube XL offer? First, the interface: everything is bigger and is of variable width. The menu is on the left hand side, with options for watching videos, searching for videos, and controlling specific settings. Once you have selected a video, you can watch it, expand it full screen (it looks great fully expanded on a big screen), and browse through related video playlists or create your own. YouTube XL also supports HD video, and from watching clips of the Detroit Red Wings vs. the Chicago Blackhawks at YouTube HQ, the quality stands up to its cable and satellite counterparts.

Parr says YouTube XL’s menu is more like a DVD than the typical YouTube menus—no scrolling, simpler navigation—appropriate for TVs. It also removes comments and other social features that don’t seem as fitting for televisions. Aside from video quality, the functionality is basically the same. It’s more like a new skin, Parr points out, than an entirely new entity.

Of course, since it is just the same old site, a lot of the content isn’t going to look good. However, YouTube has been making deals with professional content providers for a long time—including Disney, MGM, and Lionsgate in the last year.

Now, if only they could find a way to make money off all this. . . .

What do you think? Are you getting a browser on your television in the near future (with several gaming systems and newer televisions, that is), and are you looking forward to your favorite piano-playing cat on the big screen?