One of the things that have bothered me on YouTube for a while is the static player that the site uses. While you can select a small, large or full screen player, the site does not support anything in between.
Small is the default player size for instance and no matter which resolution of the video and browser window size you select, it stays the same size.
The same is true for the large player which does not adjust to screen size or resolution as well.
Up until now you had to use third-party tools such as this YouTube player resize extension for Firefox and Chrome, or the Unique YouTube Skin userscript to adjust the size of the player window beyond its limits.
Google is currently running an experiment on YouTube that enables dynamic player sizes on the video hosting site. Experiments, for those who do not know, are tests enabled for some YouTube users to see how they react to the change.
A cookie that is set on the user system determines whether a visitor of the site takes part in the experiment. So, all you need to do to take part is to set that cookie as well.
Here is what you need to do for that
- Open the YouTube website in your web browser of choice.
- In Firefox, press Ctrl-Shift-K.
- In Google Chrome or Opera 15+, press Ctrl-Shift-J.
- In Internet Explorer, press F12.
- This opens the console in all browsers mentioned above.
- Paste the following line into the console and hit enter afterwards:
document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=E_OLzg3yeLw; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();
- Refresh the page you are on if it is not reloaded automatically.
The effect is the following: Whenever you resize the browser window, YouTube will automatically adjust the size of the player and the video's resolution if possible to match it.
So, a 360p video playing in the small player is automatically enlarged when the browser window exceeds certain thresholds. What's interesting here is that there are more than the two sizes supported by default on YouTube, and that the quality and size is adjusted in both directions.
If you do not want to be part of the experiment for whatever reason, you can leave it at any time. To do so, simply clear all YouTube cookies. Alternatively, repeat the steps outlined above but use the following cookie information instead:
document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();
This nulls the cookie data and returns you to the default player behavior on the site. (via Googlesystem)
Please note that experiments may come and go at any time. What works right now may stop working the next minute, or be implemented natively on YouTube.