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YouTube to offer full HD video viewing

Online videos in high quality 1080p resolution

YouTube HD video screenshot

Video-sharing website YouTube has revealed plans to show full, high-definition video on its website. The move will let YouTube users upload and watch Full 1080p high-definition video content, improving the quality of videos offered by YouTube, says the company.

Switch from SD to HD in YouTube

Which? Computing researcher Andy Woodward welcomed the news: ‘This is a great development, reflecting the growing popularity of full HD video cameras. To make the most of this feature, you need to have a high resolution screen – preferably one with at least 1080 lines. 

‘And, to ensure YouTube 1080p videos load fast enough, a fast internet connection is desirable. If loading is too slow and you get pauses, however, you can just switch to standard quality on the menu bar below the video player on the YouTube website.’

The move mirrors the rise of Full HD camcorders capable of recording in 1080p. While videos recorded on these camcorders look great when displayed on a large HD television set, the same videos uploaded to YouTube are automatically downscaled to 720p. The result is that levels of detail are reduced, meaning lower quality viewing.

Recording and viewing 1080p

More and more camcorders are now recording in 1080p. See our HD camcorder reviews to find out how they perform in our tests. One or two digital cameras also record in 1080p, such as the Canon EOS 7D.

Full HD televisions are great for viewing 1080p, either while watching 1080p YouTube clips or when linked to a full HD camcorder. Find out which TVs have HD picture quality good enough to become a Which? Best Buy TV in our expert lab-based tests of LCD and plasma TVs.

YouTube says it aims to launch the new, high-definition service in November.

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