If the switch to solely getting your “boob-tube” fix from the internet instead of cable or satellite TV was dependent on how easy it would be to surf the tons of videos found on the net, then you will be pleasantly surprised to know that YouTube has launched its ‘Leanback’ service (beta) that makes it stoopid-easy to browse videos on YouTube.
It works like this: go to YouTube Leanback and if you are already logged into YouTube, you are IMMEDIATELY presented with a full screen of the best quality, highest definition videos by default from your “stream” (dependent on the quality the video was uploaded in). You can browse pre-defined streams like ‘Comedy’, ‘Education’, ‘Film & Animation’, etc. No word on how your stream is determined, based on my trials of Leanback, it’s a mix is channels you subscribe to, videos you’ve recently watched…truth is, I have no idea what algorithms YouTube uses, but as a result, Leanback spits out enough videos in your stream to keep you occupied for quite some time.
The hook to Leanback is how you browse for videos. Instead of pointing, clicking, and mousing around the screen, all you are using is the directional arrow keys and the enter button. Hit the down arrow key, and the video controls pop up (rewind/replay, play/pause, fast forward). Using the left/right arrow keys highlights how you want to control the video. Hit the down arrow again, and you can choose from your stream or the other pre-defined categories (scrolling through them is as easy as hitting the left and right arrow keys). Hit the up arrow, and a search box pops up where you can type out what you are looking for.
That’s it, no mouse, no tabs, no messing around with member channels or subscriptions. As long as your are looking for videos in YouTube, with Leanback, you have easy, like couch-potato easy, access to tons of YouTube content.
One the reasons why I haven’t switched to TV over IP is because I like to channel surf, and with the net, most of my video viewing is based on links I get via my many social networks. So I don’t just hang out in YouTube looking for videos to watch. With the pre-defined categories and your stream, I can simulate flipping through channels by browsing all the videos in the different categories.
So give it a try, go to YouTube Leanback and come back and tell me what you think? Would simple video browsing like Leanback convince you to cut the cable TV cord in your house?Category: Featured, News | Tags: cable TV, google, Satellite, TV over IP, videos, YouTube