As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

YouTube Leanback: Another Option for Free TV

This article was written by in Consumer. Add a comment.

This week YouTube released a beta of an interface called Leanback, open for anyone to try right now. It starts out full-screen and immediately starts playing videos it thinks would interest you based on your YouTube contacts’ activities like rating and choosing favorites. I presume it will also, if it doesn’t already, suggest videos based on your own history and activity. Presently, you have to be logged in before you can use it.

In addition to suggested videos and searching, YouTube provides categories to choose from, just as on on the website, like comedy, entertainment, and education.

Navigating Leanback requires the use of only the arrow keys and enter key or spacebar, which makes it ideal for pairing with a universal remote. Optionally, if you want to search YouTube and you’ve got a keyboard in front of you, that will work, too. For example, you could search for “Craig Ferguson July 8, 2010″ and start watching a recent episode, and the segments would play in the right sequence. Craig Ferguson has very diligent fans on YouTube, and CBS doesn’t seem to mind.

Even if that weren’t the case, the definition of “TV” seems to be changing. I’m old enough that I have different expectations from TV shows than I do from Internet videos, but many people in younger generations mentally group them together as just “entertainment,” and they don’t really care where it comes from. That’s what I heard Craig Ferguson claim on the Nerdist Podcast, anyway.

Would you lean back for YouTube?

Published or updated July 9, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

Email Email Print Print
About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

Leave a Comment

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.