Thursday, November 20, 2008

YouTube High Quality Gets Higher in 720p

Last week Ben Homer of Online Video Watch pointed to a post by Jason Kottke about a YouTube hack for an even higher quality video in 720p. YouTube had previously introduced the current "watch in high quality" option, by adding &fmt=18 (format 18) to the end of the YouTube video's url, which offered a transcoded mp4 version encoded using H.264 with stereo AAC sound at 480x360 with bitrates up to 850K. This was earlier in the year and I posted about it here.

Today the word is officially out they now offer full 720p. This format is similar to what's available DailyMotion and Vimeo.

The Google System blog says:
"If you add "&fmt=22", some YouTube videos are now available at an even higher quality, which makes the full screen view a very useful option. Compare: (standard format - mono, resolution: 320x180) (stereo, resolution: 480x270) (new format - stereo, resolution: 1280x720)

To embed a higher quality version of a video, replace "" with "" or "" in YouTube's embeddable code."

CNET has a good article which Josh Lowensohn tested this with one of his own videos.

Here's the popular "Where the Hell is Matt" video in both the new 720p and standard format,
Update: Unless you have at least fast internet connection (2.5 Mbps or higher) you'll have to wait a long time to view this video.