Saturday, November 24, 2007

High Quality Videos Coming to YouTube Soon


Speaking at the NewTeeVee Live conference Youtube Co-founder Steve Chen said that Youtube will at some time in future stream high quality videos. Although YouTube’s goal, he said, is to make the site’s vast library of content available to everyone, and that requires a fairly low-bitrate stream, the service is testing a player that detects the speed of the viewer’s Net connection and serves up higher-quality video if they want it.

Steve Chen said that the high-quality streams will be available in the next months, but only for some of the videos. This is probably the reason why YouTube’s bulk uploader increased the size limit for a video from 100 MB to 1 GB.

YouTube probably has the lowest quality videos on the Web today thanks to the Flash 7 Technology. According to Wikipedia,

“YouTube’s video playback technology is based on Macromedia’s Flash Player 7 and uses the Sorenson Spark H.263 video codec. (…) [The video] has pixel dimensions of 320 by 240 and runs at 25 frames per second. The maximum data rate is 300kbit/s.”

Steve Chen also confirmed that in YouTube’s internal archive, all video is stored at the native resolution in which it was uploaded it. However, he said, a large portion of YouTube videos are pretty poor quality to begin with — 320 x 240. Streaming them in high-quality mode isn’t going to help much. So expect the rollout of High Quality Videos to be pretty slow from Youtube since the existing setup is working well for them, so this is just an experiment.

[via dailyApps]