TV versus on-line video sites such as Youtube

Some interesting questions arose recently on a forum to which I belong.  Members were comparing conventional broadcast TV with on-line video sites such as Youtube, and asking…

  • What are people watching on YouTube?
  • Are they watching new material ?  Or are they watching old repeats that are be being shown in breach of copyright?
  • Are they watching current, studio quality programmes … Or 20 minutes of Russian “How Not To Drive dashcam” footage, and junk that’s been leeched from TikTok?
    • And on what equipment – and where?

I thought these were very good questions and that I should at least try to answer them. I cannot speak for anyone else. But at one time or another I guess I must have looked at all of the above. 🙂 Plus, for example…

Big Clive

This guy is simply brilliant – especially if you’re the sort of chap who enjoys invalidating warranties to see how various electronic kit works…

Randy Rainbow

Outrageously gay New Yorker Randy Rainbow produced some of the funniest Trump vids ever, e.g. “Very Stable Genius”…

Apparently Randy Rainbow is his real name. I’m a big fan.

Macus and Szofi

After several passionate “hopi hopi” sessions, Szofi just laid her first egg of the season…

Remembering of course that Youtube is just one of many internet video repositories. Other’s include Vimeo, DailyMotion and the excellent Intenet Archive which boasts a huge collection of really interesting public domain material.

What equipment?

Personally I prefer to download material before I watch it. I do so at the highest possible resolution and best possible sound quality. I play it back via our GNU/Linux Media Server, on a decent 101 cm HDMI screen, with audio fed to the auxiliary input of a vintage Tandberg Huldra 10 and a pair of British-made Cambridge R50 transmission-line speakers. Depending on the original video, the picture quality is sometimes superior to standard DVB broadcast TV. The sound quality certainly is better.

Tandberg Huldra 10
Tandberg Huldra 10, multiband stereo receiver, made in Norway, back in 1974.

Downloading from Youtube (and most other video sites, including BBC’s iPlayer*) is trivially easy using freely available open source tools such as yt-dlp and get-iplayer and avoids all that buffering nonsense caused by Britain’s piss poor IT infrastructure. Also avoids those bloody silly ads Youtube tries to run before the video will play! 🙂

My wife isn’t bothered about sound or picture guilty. She has several battered but functional Linux laptops she likes to watch in the kitchen, live. Often she has one showing four “stork-cams” – watching her favourite European stork nests. Meanwhile another machine is usually playing some dreadful German romantic movie, dubbed in Hungarian, whilst she enjoys protracted text and audio conversations via Skype with her family back in Hungary and/or her various friends dotted around the planet. 🙂


*NB Watching video material from BBC’s iPlayer requires a UK Television Licence.

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