Youtube director of product management Hunter Walk announced that they are going to offer a high quality full HD 1080p resolution in the very near future.
Youtube currently offers 720p HD which can help enhance certain content, although we have seen the option used on some videos which really adds very little to the overall quality – it is very dependant on the source files.
Walk said this new resolution and a new full screen player is going to be making an appearance within a couple of days, possibly over the weekend.
Youtube also stated that when a user uploads video content, it is stored in its native resolution initially and reencoded to suit the player size. This means that a lot of content already uploaded to Youtube is natively stored at 1080p so it has just been a case of reencoding files already on their servers. Walk said that almost half the content is already encoded for display when this option launches. While this is a great option for people browsing Youtube on their desktop systems, Youtube have stated recently that a lot of their content is viewed now on mobile devices with a 2,000% increase in mobile uploads this year.
It is an exciting option and will require Youtube to make sure their bandwidth can cope with the increased bandwidth required – this will certainly also push the graphics card makers (ATI & Nvidia) to start rolliing out driver based video acceleration as even the 720p content on youtube can hit weaker processors very hard.