YouTube videos get widescreen treatment

From CNET YouTube has expanded the viewable width of all videos appearing on the site, creating an image that viewers will likely associate more with a movie theater screen or high-definition television.

The video-sharing site announced the move in a blog posting Monday evening:

We're expanding the width of the page to 960 pixels to better reflect the quality of the videos you create and the screens that you use to watch them. This new, wider player is in a widescreen aspect ratio which we hope will provide you with a cleaner, more powerful viewing experience.

The expanded viewing width will please YouTube users who are increasingly filming and uploading more videos to the site in the 16:9 aspect ratio. However, those worried that their 4:3 videos will appear stretched out need not fear. Those videos will be centered with vertical black bars flanking the image (like the infamous video depicted at right that captured a New York City Police officer tackling a bicyclist in Times Square).

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