What's up with the deliberate blurring of video frames?

Example: first video in this story on a massive explosion in China:

What is the point of blurring all but the center third (or less) of the image, usually of amateur videos? The US Weather Channel, among others, is notorious for this. Also, is there a formal name for this?

I understand that someone in charge apparently thinks that most of the image is unneeded information, but for some reason I find it annoying as hell.

It’s not blurred (well it is, I know), it’s what they do when someone doesn’t know how to hold their camera and sends in video in portrait mode instead of landscape mode. The video editors at the news station do that to fill your screen. It’s just duplicated information taken from the video. You’ll notice that what’s blurred on the left side comes from the left half of the video and what’s blurred on the right half is taken from the right side of the video.

Here’s a better video to help show you. Ignore the fact that it’s a tutorial and just look at the first few seconds where they show you the final result. It’s pretty clear what’s going on.
In your video, it’s hard to tell that the did that. But if you look at the big blue thing (a screen?) on the right side, you can see that in the blurry part off to the right as well and right around the 15 second mark you can see something very bright to the right of the blue screen while you’ll see all the way at the right in the blurry part as well. The giant explosion, as well, is shown in the blurry parts.

But, again, they’re not hiding anything, they’re just adding (duplicating really) information to fill up your screen. Some people like that better than a video in the middle and the rest of the screen being all black or framed with the network/station logos.

OK, got it, thanks. Ignorance fought.

In terms of internet memes it’s known as ‘vertical video’ and it is much derided on video posting forums. Most all of the time you hold your smartphone this way when using them for everything, but you should hold it sideways when using it like a camera. So it’s essentially (and IMO rightly) like being called a noob (i.e. a newbie)…

Times they are a changing! :slight_smile:
The NY Times has an article on this today…

short summary: viewers are voting with their completion rates and liking vertical videos. Yes, all the pros find them terrible-but the viewing public is fine with them and in many cases actually prefers them.

Well, when I said ‘video posting forums’ I wasn’t really referring to pro sites, but stuff like **YouTube **or even edgier ones like LiveLeak. The commenters tend to be pretty harsh on posters of them…

Part of the problem with vertical videos is that it used to be impossible to get them to go full screen on mobile devices. Vertical videos suck on a computer, sure, but at least I have a big 23" monitor that I can full screen and get a decently large picture. On a phone, though, you’d full screen it and it’d flip to landscape mode and then only show the video in the center 3rd of the screen. Youtube just fixed this (on Android, at least), and I noticed other apps are following suit, so I think you’ll see less ire towards vertical videos in the years to come.

Still, don’t do it.