YouTube Plays With Higher Resolution Clips

    March 3, 2008

The average YouTube user isn’t likely to stumble across them, but an ongoing test appears to be spreading higher-quality versions of some videos throughout the site.  All that’s needed to access the clearer clips is the addition of six extra characters at the end of a URL.

When calling up a video, paste "&fmt=6" or "&fmt=18" into place, and, if you’re lucky, the video will reappear and look significantly better than before.  Affected clips aren’t exactly widespread, so a little luck or perseverance may be required to find them in the wild, but it seems worth a try to us.

YouTube Plays With Higher Resolution Clips
    Skateboarding Dog – With
    Higher Resolution

Ryan Wagner highlighted an example involving the skateboarding bulldog.  Even in the improved version, Tillman isn’t crystal-clear, but he looks much better than before.  Also, although they weren’t just listening to Tillman roll around, people on the VideoHelp Forum have noticed higher-quality audio, as well.

If YouTube ever decides to use the better clips as its standard format, or at least offer them as a more obvious option, it’ll answer one of the bigger complaints about the site.  Once YouTube’s videos don’t look so shoddy, people may become more willing to upload and watch things there.

Owners of other video-sharing sites are probably feeling rather uneasy right now; combine this news with word of live video developments, and it looks like YouTube is getting ready to take some pretty big leaps.