YouTube High Definition
YouTube HD Is Here to Stay!
YouTube has just announced that users now have the option of watching some videos in 720p HD. These streams are available on certain videos, depending on the source file uploaded to YouTube.
The ability to upload higher quality videos means improved sharpness and visual clarity for some YouTube videos. It's very noticeable in videos that contain text or fast movement and also in full-screen mode.
However, there are some important things to consider that you need to know as a video content provider, so you can make the right decision.
First Things First!
Get The Latest Flash Player
You must have Flash Player 10 or later installed in your computer to be able to watch higher resolution YouTube videos.
Compressing YouTube HD videos
What format do I need to encode my videos with?
For the highest quality, YouTube now recommends these setting for your video:
- H.264, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 format
- 1280x720 resolution
- 44.1KHz Stereo MP3 or AAC audio
- Frame rate as the original video
- Up to 1GB file size and 10 min. duration
Viewing YouTube HD videos
What do I need to set up in my account?
On your YouTube Account page, click on Playback Setup and you're now able to choose "Always choose the best option for me based on my player size." or "I have a slow connection. Never play higher-quality video" which is set by default.
So if you want to turn on HD, you must set "I have a fast connection. Always play higher-quality video when it's available" but only if you have a fast internet connection, otherwise you might find that videos don't play as quickly or smoothly.
Just Click "watch in HD"
Forcing YouTube to Play HD Videos
Normal Mode, Hi-Res and HD Mode
Provided that the user, you're watching, uploaded a high quality video with the specs above, you should be able to force YouTube to display hi-def videos even though you're not logged into YouTube.
For instance, this video displays in normal mode:
Now, for the same video to display in hi-res mode or HD mode, the trick is to append &fmt=6 &fmt=18 or &fmt=22 to the end of the URL.
&fmt=6 increases the resolution from 320x240 to 448x336, Flash 7 video @ 900Kbps; audio @ 44.1KHz 96Kbps Mono CBR. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfWXRybZS4A&fmt=6
&fmt=18 increases the resolution to 480x360, H.264 video @ 512Kbps; audio @ 44.1KHz 128Kbps Stereo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfWXRybZS4A&fmt=18
&fmt=22 increases the resolution to 1280Ã720 (720p), H.264 video @ 1024Kbps; audio @ 44.1KHz 232Kbps Stereo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfWXRybZS4A&fmt=22
How Can I Embed a High Quality YouTube Video?
Append The Right Code for HQ and HD
If this is the YouTube video URL:
All you need to do is append &ap=%2526fmt%3D18 to the YouTube URL video.
Then the video URL will look like this:
And the embedding code will be this:
All you need to do is append &ap=%2526fmt%3D22 to the YouTube URL video.
The video URL will look like this:
And the embedding code will be this:
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How Can I Encode My YouTube Videos Using The DviX Codec?
You Can Choose Among These Three Encoders
The DviX codec is one of the codecs recommended by YouTube, and the one I prefer over Xvid.
So there are basically two ways to do this. One is using a simple video encoder and the other is using a sophisticated video compressing tool.
The software programs I recommend are: DviX Converter, Movavi VideoSuite and VirtualDub. They all need the DviX Pro Codec in order to work. DviX is a flavor of MPEG4 video codec standard.
1. DivX Converter
A basic DivX encoder
Convert nearly any popular video format to a DivX video by simply dragging and dropping it onto the DivX Converter.
Use DivX to convert all of your media!
It takes just two easy steps to convert your files to DivX video. Just drag your video onto the DivX Converter and click 'Convert.' You get the point. It's really, really easy to create DivX videos.
DivX Converter has four preset profiles. Choose the profile that best matches the device on which you expect to play your DivX video.
The DivX Converter still manages to pack in some advanced features for those who like more control. You can tweak encoding settings to create a video converted to your precise specifications:
- Resize videos
- Specify output file sizes
- Change encoding bitrates
If you're an expert compressionist, use this encoder
This is my favorite tool for compressing videos using DivX. It has all kinds of settings which allow me to configure in expert mode the DivX codec and produce DivX videos. Remember, the DivX Codec needs to be installed in your computer for VirtualDub encoder to work using the DviX setting.
Open VirtualDub, and "Open video file". This load the file into the viewer, input on the left and output on the right, as it's shown in the picture below:
Then you need to compress video using DivX Pro Codec and audio codec using the LAME MP3 encoder. The VirtualDub tutorials below will get you familiar with the encoder.
How To Configure DviX
I applied the recommended YouTube settings,
including the DivX codec to my video below.
But There's Always a Catch
Users with fast connections will be the ones to experience YouTube's upgrade, while other users might want to stick to the classic view, otherwise they will encounter slowness while trying to play a video.