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Video Quality Goes Up, Up, Up

By Billy Biggs

Software Engineer

When just $200 purchases a high-definition (HD) camera, you know the world is changing, and YouTube has changed with it. Thanks to more affordable equipment on the market, increasing bandwidth available to consumers, and better video codec support in web browsers, we have been improving our site to keep YouTube the best home for high resolution content. We increased the file size limit to 2GB, so you can upload bigger files straight from an HD camera. We also raised the resolution and quality of our standard video format, which makes all new YouTube videos look better, not just those uploaded in HD.

The average video resolution of files uploaded every day to YouTube has jumped nearly 30% in the last eight months (as shown in the graph below), which means that you are uploading increasingly better quality videos to the site. Earlier this year, CNET crowned YouTube as the best site for HD, and from our stats we can see users are sending us more: For every one thousand uploads in June, twice as many are from HD sources compared to samples of the same size in December, and this rate is increasing.

Another way to think about it is to look at the same video at different resolutions, to see the variation and evolution in quality. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the moon landing on Monday, we've chosen a video from NASA's channel to demonstrate this, with thumbnails shot at 1:12 in the video. (Click on an image to see full size.)

Standard Quality (SQ)

High Quality (HQ)

High Definition (HD)

Nice, right? We'll do everything we can to continue providing you with the best quality video for maximum creativity, impact and enjoyment. After all, you are driving this transformation: by uploading more high-quality videos to the site, we've made it a priority to adapt with you.

For more about YouTube myths exposed (low video quality is Myth #2), click here to go to the Biz Blog, our partner and advertiser blog.