Google acquires Irish company to improve YouTube video quality

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) continues to work toward improving the quality of its user generated content on YouTube, today announcing it had acquired Dublin, Ireland-based Green Parrot Pictures. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Green Parrot, which was founded by Anil Kokaram, a professor at the engineering school of Trinity College, builds cutting-edge video quality improvement technology that helps make videos look better while at the same time using less bandwidth and improving playback speed. It's been used in major studio productions from Lord of the Rings to X-Men to Spider Man.

YouTube, which currently sees the equivalent of over 170,000 full-length movies uploaded to its site every week, says the technology will sharpen video images, reduce visual noise and rendering a higher-quality, steadier video, all while content is being uploaded to the site.

"We see 35 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute from people all over the world," said Jeremy Doig, Google's director of video technology in a blog. "Some videos are beautifully shot by professionals or aspiring filmmakers using the very latest in HD cameras and equipment. But some of YouTube's most popular or moving videos are shot using low-quality mobile phones and video cameras. "

Doig pointed out that videos of the recent unrest in Libya, while sometimes emotionally captivating, often were jerky, blurry or unsteady. The new technology is a major step toward rectifying that.

Kokaram and his team will be moving to California in coming months.

The acquisition is the latest move in what has seemingly become a YouTube mission: To help users generate better video. Last week, Google acquired Next New Networks, which the company said would be used as a "laboratory for experimentation and innovation."

"We're focused on building a great technology platform for creators, and so we leave the actual creation of great videos to the people who do it best: our partners," Tom Pickett, Director of Global Content Operations and YouTube Next said at the time. "Being a great platform for creators also means helping our partners get the tools and guidance they need to develop higher quality videos and drive bigger audiences to their work."

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