1080p HD Coming to YouTube

Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 01:30 PM PST by Mike Attebery

In the last year, YouTube has been distancing itself from its roots of grainy webcam footage of unknown people playing their guitar poorly. In their newest effort, they're stepping their HD content up from 720p to 1080p.

YouTube, the former hallmark of poor quality internet video, has been making an increasing effort to create a more valuable service. In recent months, the company has added a fairly sizable library of legitimate television and movie streams, and even letting viewers watch at a 720p resolution. Now, according to an announcement in the YouTube blog, the company is testing out streaming of 1080p content.

While most videos currently on the site won’t see a great deal of benefit, as relatively few users have 1080p videos to upload, the most likely benefit is to commercial applications. If users have the option to watch a streaming film on Netflix, Hulu or YouTube, many will be swayed towards the higher video quality and zero cost of entry.

The sample video – which is in the blog linked to below – is less than stunning, and while it’s certainly at a 1080p resolution, it looks pretty compressed. It’s certainly better than their previous High Quality offering, but by how much we have yet to see.

There’s no word yet from YouTube as to whether connected consumer devices such as Blu-ray players that stream the service will be able to stream in the new 1080p resolution, but we fully expect to see it. If so, this could be a huge step forward for YouTube.

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