Youtube HD consumes lots of bandwidth, Google wants to kind of control which devices can access that. I spoke with some Realtek based set-top-box manufacturers that told me it actually costs $1 Million in licencing to get Youtube API support on a device. Check my video: http://armdevices.net/2010/03/17/zinwell-cinematube-at-cebit-2010/
I don't really believe it's that expensive. It wouldn't really make sense. But anyways, I think it's got to do with something about Google changing the way the API works for devices to pull the Youtube videos to devices.
But that may change anyways and not be required anymore when Flash support is added in the next few weeks. That may be the solution for full Flash video support no matter about the Youtube API licencing issues.
Otherwise, I hope Google soon clarifies what they require for licencing out the Youtube HD access for devices, I wouldn't mind if they require users to be logged in and pay a very small amount,
Something like $1 per 10GB
= 10 hours of Youtube playback at 720p 2mbit/s
= 5 hours of Youtube playback at 1080p 4mbit/s
of authenticated Youtube HD access or something like that, and that this should work on any device. This would then cover Google's bandwidth costs for HD video streaming, and even provide the groundwork for Youtube to provide video-on-demand, video rentals, perhaps even scale up a new Live Youtube Streaming Service, also provide a one-click donation system and paying very small amounts to watch videos in HD quality without ads.
At Google I/O next week, Google is going to launch the Google TV initiative, I expect them to clarify the terms of Youtube access on devices by then.
Clearly defined specs of ARM Powered devices that may access Youtube in HD quality, and provide the full pay-per-view support with that, may provide a solid platform for one of the biggest revolutions for the TV media. People watch 3-4 hours of TV per day in average, the easy access to web video from Youtube on a sub-$100 set-top-box may revolutionize the content people will watch on their TVs. It may affect major election results. Youtube already represents perhaps as much as half of the worldwide internet bandwidth.
If Google makes this happen in the right ways, Google TV may become Google's new largest source of revenues and profits. At the same time, I think, it may revolutionize media and democracy for the better.
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