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youtube

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YouTube Gaming introduces sponsorships as paid channels are shut down

We've been hearing for a while that YouTube was planning to do away with paid content and now it's finally taking effect. It's no longer possible to create paid content, and from December paid channels will no longer be accessible at all. Individual purchased videos will still be available to whoever bought them until 2022, however. Fortunately, for gamers at least, Google is introducing an expanded version of sponsorships for YouTube Gaming, which have been in testing for some time.

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Google added YouTube HDR support to the Pixels entirely in software

A few smartphones and tablets have launched with support for HDR video, but the Google Pixel and Pixel XL were not among them. Google enabled HDR playback in YouTube recently and apparently didn't like that its own phones were going to be left out of the fun. We were surprised to see the Pixels show up on the supported list, so we asked Google what was going on. It turns out the Pixels are doing YouTube HDR in software.

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[Update: Google Pixels and LG V30 too] YouTube is rolling out HDR playback option for Galaxy S8/S8+, Note8, and XZ Premium users

High Dynamic Range (HDR) has seemingly been the next big thing in video playback for quite some time, but most people have yet to experience it outside of taking photos. It relates not to the resolution of a video, but to the amount of contrast and the color range, and it should make things look much more realistic. HDR content is still fairly limited, however, and so is device compatibility. The ill fated Samsung Galaxy Note7 was the first phone to support it, but few people got a chance to try it out on that, for obvious reasons. Its successor, the Note8, as well as the S8 and S8+ support it, too, and it seems YouTube's HDR videos will now work on those devices.

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[Update: Wide rollout] YouTube is testing video previews when you adjust your position on the seek bar

Lately, YouTube has been pushing a ton of server-side changes to users. In just the span of a few weeks, the comments section has been tweaked, the bottom nav bar test returned, and expanded replies were improved upon. The video-sharing service isn't stopping there; today, it seems that YouTube has begun displaying to a few users little snapshots of the video you're watching when you seek through it.

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YouTube Live gets improvements to latency, chat moderation, and iOS streaming

It's been a busy time for YouTube recently, with the launch of a more material desktop version and a new logo, which also made its way to the Android app. A lot of that was superficial, of course, and the site still functions in pretty much the same way. An increasingly popular feature is live streaming, and Google has just announced some improvements designed to make YouTube Live "faster, easier and more accessible."

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YouTube for Android TV 2.01.04 update brings back brand accounts and channel switching [APK Download]

The update to version 2.0 ushered in some major changes to YouTube for Android TV. Many of them were superficial, but there were also useful things like being able to turn off autoplay. It also got a fair amount of criticism for essentially just being a web wrapper and having some things missing. The biggest disappointment for many was that you could no longer sign in with a brand account or switch channels as you could in the previous release. Google said they would be brought back soon and has just made good on that promise with a new update.

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YouTube's Picture-in-Picture mode in Oreo is only available to paying Red customers in five countries, and that's a problem

One of Android 8.0 Oreo's biggest features is picture-in-picture (PiP) mode, and given YouTube's status as the most popular video-sharing platform in the world, you'd be forgiven for thinking that quite a bit of PiP use would be for YouTube. Unfortunately, you'd also be wrong, as Google has made it very difficult for people to actually use picture-in-picture mode.

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YouTube feed now has "Breaking News" section across all platforms for many

Most of YouTube's server-side rollouts are fairly limited, but this latest one seems to be pretty widespread. There's a new "Breaking News" section within the YouTube feed that has appeared for many, and it's exactly what you'd expect - a collection of videos pertaining to breaking news around the world.

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