UPDATE: This post no longer applies (or works) as YouTube now has built-in HD support for embeds.
Wired is reporting that YouTube now has a 720p-ish (reports vary on what resolution it truely is, but it’s sure good) video playback support. Even more important, the audio is stereo instead of mono (you can really hear the improved quality).
YouTube’s default video resolution is utter crap (not sure what the resolution is) and the existing higher quality video was 480×360. This new video resolution is 2-3 times as good as the previous “high quality” resolution.
To prove it, here’s some sample videos. The difference is more apparent if you click the fullscreen button, especially if you have a large monitor. Make sure to also have your speakers or headphones on to notice the improved audio quality.
YouTube Default (Low Quality)
YouTube’s Previous High Quality
YouTube’s New HD Quality
I have added support to my Video Quicktags plugin but note that if a video does not have the HD quality version available (99% or more don’t), it will drop back to the lowest quality format. As a result, I don’t recommend making the HD format your default on your blog. Instead, set the
22 like this:
[youtube width="630" height="380" quality="22"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlfKdbWwruY[/youtube]