Home The Age of Grainy Web Videos Has Come to an End: YouTube Turns on HD

The Age of Grainy Web Videos Has Come to an End: YouTube Turns on HD

Just about three weeks ago, we reported that YouTube was testing high-definition videos, and today it seems like this feature has been officially released. A large number of videos that fulfilled YouTube’s criteria for HD encoding now sport a ‘watch in HD’ button instead of the old ‘watch in high quality.’ We have not seen any official statement from YouTube about this yet, but you can already find a lot of HD videos on YouTube now if you do a search for ‘HD’ on the site.

Until today, you could only see these HD versions if you added “&fmt=22” to a YouTube URL and it was almost impossible to know which video would work in HD.

As we pointed out in our earlier story about these HD videos, the quality is amazing and rivals that of some of YouTube’s closest competitors like Vimeo. However, it is also worth noting that you need a relatively fast broadband connection to watch these videos without constant stuttering and buffering.

Just in the last couple of weeks, YouTube has been rolling out a wide variety of new features, including the new wide-screen format (which was clearly in preparation for this release) and the addition of over 25k new songs from music licensing firm Rumblefish to its AudioSwap feature.


These new HD videos, however, are clearly a game-changer. Web video always had the name of having relatively sub-standard video quality and being generally grainy and hard to watch (and YouTube especially). Now, you could easily put up a screen-cast on YouTube in HD, or film a video with your new Flip MinoHD and have it seen in its full 720p glory.

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