Google buys video-enhancing company to boost YouTube

Green Parrot Pictures makes technology that will sharpen video quality as clips get uploaded to YouTube

Google has acquired an Irish company for technology that will allow YouTube to automatically improve the quality of videos stored on the site.

Green Parrot Pictures, based in Dublin, makes digital video technology that Google hopes will make clips on YouTube sharper, steadier and lower in image noise.

The technology may come in handy in particular for videos shot under pressure with low-quality devices, such as camera phones, in situations such as street protests, according to Google.

Green Parrot Pictures' video improvement technology has been used in big-budget films such as "Lord of the Rings," "X-Men" and "Spider Man." Green Parrot Pictures CEO Anil Kokaram is also an associate professor at Trinity College Dublin.

"Their technology helps make videos look better while at the same time using less bandwidth and improving playback speed," wrote Jeremy Doig, director of Google video technology, in a blog post on Tuesday.

"With the equivalent of over 170,000 full-length movies uploaded to YouTube every week, the team's experience in this area -- working on solutions for both video consumers and experts alike -- will be a source of new ideas and further innovation at YouTube and across Google. We look forward to working with them to make the videos you upload every minute of every day to our site look even better," Doig wrote.

Google sites, primarily YouTube, drew the most unique video viewers in January with 144.1 million, followed in a distant second place by Vevo with 51 million, according to comScore. Yahoo, Viacom Digital and AOL rounded out the top five.

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Tags business issuesInternet-based applications and servicesMergers / acquisitionsGreen Parrot PicturesGoogleinternetvideoyoutube

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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