The continuing transformation of YouTube's "post-Hulu" era has now taken shape in a new widescreen format, increasing the layout to 960 pixels and 16:9 aspect ratio. After the news regarding YouTube's move to carry feature-length films, the site-wide move is clearly designed not only to accommodate the incoming new official content, but to upgrade the capacity for higher quality user-generated content as well.
Videos which carry the traditional YouTube layout of 4:3 aspect ratio (which at this point is the majority of them,) will be contained in columns of black bars to preserve the integrity of the original ratio, similar to what one might see while watching a non-HD channel on an HDTV. (See above.)
It's no secret that Google has been paying close attention to the revenue figures between themselves and Hulu. They realize that Hulu, while having not as much traffic yet, is making serious money considering the short time it's been in existence. The question (that has already been asked by many) remains: Exactly into WHAT will the YouTube we all know and love transform?
For now, I'm sure that there will be nitpickers that will focus on the black bars, but personally, I don't mind them. It's not blocking anything (like some crappy full-screen DVD,) it just has a kind of false psychological effect that makes you think you're not seeing the full picture because the vid is not perfectly framed into the application.