A few years ago, when online video really started to take off, users were satisfied with webcam-quality, blurry and pixelated videos. Just the fact that you were watching video on the Web was mind-blowing enough. This changed soon enough and HD videos have become pretty much standard for any proper online video service. But there's HD and then there's HD. 720p may look good enough to the untrained eye, but the real connoisseur knows that true HD is at 1080p, the highest resolution video available today at the consumer level. Fortunately, YouTube knows this as well and will enable users to view full 1080p HD videos as early as next week.
“We're excited to say that support for watching 1080p HD videos in full resolution is on its way. Starting next week, YouTube's HD mode will add support for viewing videos in 720p or 1080p, depending on the resolution of the original source, up from our maximum output of 720p today,” Billy Biggs, a software engineer at YouTube, wrote.
The fact is that more and more cameras support 1080p and passionate amateurs have been making videos at the full resolution for a while now. So, YouTube wants to make sure that both the creators and the viewers can enjoy the best experience available, which means serving videos at their native resolution. And it's not like Google can't afford the extra bandwidth or the storage space required.
In fact, it's much more likely that your computer can't handle the load, as even today's fastest machines can strain under the load. And you'll also need a big monitor capable of displaying the resolution to take full advantage. But if you do, you're good to go and, as an added bonus, YouTube will also re-encode videos previously uploaded at 1080p so that they play back at the full resolution. And to make sure that people are aware of the new capabilities, YouTube is also launching a content of sorts, encouraging creative users to send in their full-resolution videos by announcing that it will feature the best ones on the homepage.