YouTube has announced that it is to bump its streaming quality up to 1080p, for those who have a device capable of showing video at that resolution.
According to a post on the official YouTube blog, the current “high quality” option for videos on YouTube sees video streamed at 720p, which does still qualify as “high definition” but for many isn’t considered to be true HD, a title often bandied around during the early days of this console generation and the days when HD-DVD and Blu-Ray started to appear.
Those of you who use YouTube should expect to see videos cropping up in 1080p over the next few days, with the YouTube blog giving a fairly vague “this week” timeframe. Of course, since most users won’t have their resolution cranked up quite high enough to get the mileage out of 1080p, the guys at YouTube are advising that anyone looking to get the best out of the new high quality bump should push their resolution up to take advantage of it.
The real question for many is whether or not YouTube needs that kind of a quality bump across the board. With some of YouTube’s features still only accessible to “directors” (uploading videos longer than around the ten minute mark and a dimmer switch) it seems strange to see so bandwidth intensive a feature rolled out to just about everyone.
Still, the whole thing makes an awful lot of sense when you consider the recent offers made by movie publishers to make films available on the service as a limited time offer, with the most recent example being Bram Stoker’s Dracula viewable for free at Halloween.
If you’d like to see what the difference between the current YouTube setup, the current high quality setting and 1080p look like, then you should check out the YouTube blog post on it. It’s quite revealing… and kind of shows that my resolution is a bit too low to enjoy 1080p.