Higher Quality Videos starting to appear on Youtube

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 3, 2008
Updated • Dec 14, 2012
Google, Youtube

When we read the announcement that higher quality videos would come to Youtube we were delighted that the video quality would finally see an upgrade. Apparently the conversion has started and some videos are already available in different quality versions. It still looks like Youtube is testing settings and stuff and that not everyone can access those higher quality videos yet.

You can also bet that it takes some time to convert the 140+ million videos hosted on the website. The default video resolution is 320x200 and the two new resolutions that are tested are 448x336 and 480x360. To test it you only need to append the parameters &fmt6 for 448x336 or &fmt18 for 480x360 video resolutions.

Not all videos are converted as of yet and videos that have not are displaying the loading screen all the time.

320x200 quality: [link]
youtube default quality

480x360 quality: [link]
youtube high quality

Firefox users can access a Greasemonkey script that changes the video resolution.

Update: Google has made available options for users to upload higher quality versions of videos that users of the video hosting service can watch then on the site. Actually, videos were always kept in their original quality and processed by Google's service to make them available in standardized resolutions.

When you visit YouTube today, you you will notice options to change the quality of the video from 240p, the lowest resolution available all the way up to 1080p and sometimes even beyond that. The available quality options depend largely on the source video. If it has been uploaded in a reasonable quality, you can expect higher resolutions to be available.

To change the resolution simply click on the resolution changer beneath a video and switch to a different quality. Registered users can furthermore click on Settings > Playback to either have YouTube pick a high quality video stream for them when available, or a lower quality stream.


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  1. Lorissa said on March 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    A better site for high quality videos is:


    YouTube sucks, always has, so for those who want high quality now for viewing, uploading and downloading it’s VEOH. ;)

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