YouTube boosting video quality

By on March 3, 2008, 4:39 PM
Though YouTube is generally considered to be the king of all video sharing services, one downside has long been its inferior video quality compared to rival services such as Vimeo, DailyMotion, or But going forward that may not always be the case, as it appears that they are quietly taking early steps at providing higher-res videos.

Apparently, YouTube has begun re-encoding the web versions of its videos when possible, noticeably increasing their resolution from 320x240 to 480x360 and improving audio quality as well. Not every video has been re-encoded into the higher quality, mind you, and no one really seems to be sure as to whether it depends on the format of video or perhaps its popularity. It appears however that the improvement primarily applies to newly uploaded videos, which are automatically produced in both the regular and high-quality versions.

The improved quality currently remains optional and must be activated by adding &fmt=6 onto the end of any YouTube URL. Alternatively, you can add &fmt=18 and it will play the high-resolution version when available, otherwise it will play the regular version.

User Comments: 2

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Nirkon said:
It isn't the resolution, their encoding system needs to be changed.. it ruins the video quality like hell.. I've seen it when I uploaded a video... it looked so bad on youtube... videos load slow now... just whats gonna happen when I start streaming higher res videos?
icye said:
The way most videos are loading these days on Youtube, I feel that its just a matter of time before they are forced to make drastic changes to their services. A paid-only service for streaming hi-res videos would have been a better option. The free-for-all crappy quality videos can be for the rest.[Edited by icye on 2008-03-04 16:18:41]
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