March 16, 2011 at 2:37 PM ET
While our eyes have adapted — somewhat — to the herky-jerky, average YouTube video shot by amateurs, YouTube wants to make it better for us, and to raise those standards.
YouTube has acquired Green Parrot Pictures, a digital video technology company operating out of Dublin, Ireland. In a blog post yesterday, Jeremy Doig, Director, Google Video Technology, wrote that Green Parrot has technology that can sharpen images, reduce visual noise and render a higher-quality, steadier video — all while it's uploading.
The Green Parrot site provides some insights into the technology behind their improvements:
Our Oscar winning motion estimation technology allows us to use information from multiple frames to improve image quality overall. However any realistic video processing toolkit must acknowledge the fact that sometimes weird things happen in moving pictures. Motion blur, self occluding motion and non-rigid or transparent objects all cause pictures to behave in a way that make it difficult to exploit multiple frames. Therefore we have developed tools that check themselves for providing good quality information and we use that self diagnostic to make sure that the output is as good as it can be.
Google's gushing about the company probably has something to do with its pedigree, having worked on "Lord of the Rings," "X-Men" and "Spider-Man."
Doig wrote, "Their technology helps make videos look better while at the same time using less bandwidth and improving playback speed."
Considering the volume of YouTube uploads — 35 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute, resulting in the equivalent of more than 170,000 full-length movies every week — the Green Parrot team has a lot of work to do. But we're looking forward to seeing the results.