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Military launches video-sharing site for troops

The military launches TroopTube, a YouTube-like, but bandwidth-friendly, video-sharing Web site for troops and supporters.

After banning YouTube and other social Web sites on all overseas computers in May, citing bandwidth and security issues, the U.S. military on Tuesday launched an alternative video-sharing Web site for troops, their families, and supporters.

The new site is called TroopTube and has a look and function very much like YouTube, with one major difference: a Pentagon employee screens each video upload for taste, copyright violations, and national security issues.

Technically, you need to be a member of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, or National Guard to register with the site for uploading. However, there's no enforcing mechanism to make sure that's the case. There are also options to register as a family member or civilian friend.

TroopTube limits videos to 5 minutes in length and 20MB in size, as opposed to 10 minutes and 1024MB of YouTube. Unlike YouTube, you can't rate a video but just leave comments.

According to the Associated Press, TroopTube was built with the help of Delve Networks, a four-month-old start-up that builds advanced tools for approving, sorting, and managing videos.

Delve's technology automatically generates the video content into different file sizes to feed the viewer best depending on his or her Internet connection. This makes the site more bandwidth-friendly than YouTube and other movie sites. The company also creates a text transcript from the uploaded videos' sound tracks for better and more relevant search results.