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How to Watch High Quality Videos on YouTube

High quality videos and YouTube videos are usually considered two separate entities. YouTube is notorious for its low-quality videos, even then it is the world’s most popular video streaming and video sharing website.

Google OS recently discovered a trick that indicates that Google might be secretly working on improving the quality of some YouTube videos.

The trick is to append &fmt=18 at the end of URL of the YouTube video you are watching. This will make YouTube download a high-quality video version of that particular video. The high quality video version will of course be bigger in size and therefore will take more time to load. It shall be encoded at 480×360 with an MP4 format. This trick will not work on all videos but for some it works like a charm.

Example:

Lets say you have a YouTube video with the following URL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvQXo4gd12I

Now to watch a high quality version of the same YouTube, you will use the link below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvQXo4gd12I&fmt=18

You will definitely feel the difference. You can also use a Greasemonkey script to search high quality versions of YouTube videos for you.

Comments

comments

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Madhur Kapoor March 4, 2008, 2:17 am

    This is cool. I really hope youtube allow more high quality and greater length videos in there.

  • Forest Parks March 4, 2008, 4:04 am

    Thanks for this. I’m going to keep that bit of code stored.

    I tried it with a file I uploaded and sadly it didn’t work. I wonder if it has something to do with the original format?

  • Waqas March 4, 2008, 11:06 am

    Cool, Nice trick!

  • Cold Fire March 4, 2008, 3:27 pm

    Wow, Nice trick!

    thanx 😀

  • Hacker March 5, 2008, 1:14 pm

    Going to try! 😀

  • mike March 11, 2008, 8:41 pm

    Thanks for the tip! now I can make use of this.

  • YouTube Hack March 11, 2008, 11:49 pm

    Nice hack. Thanks.

  • Max April 20, 2008, 2:54 am

    Shame I can’t use the MP4s properly when trying to make a video with them on any video maker that supports MP4. I haven’t even got an MP4 converter!

  • Torley May 7, 2008, 2:21 am

    Do note that in high-quality mode, video looks somewhat better but audio is noticeably distorted. This has been a bug for several months since I originally noticed and reported it to YouTube and provided a clear reproduction, and haven’t heard any details about a resolution yet. 🙁

  • file2hd May 8, 2008, 3:24 am

    You can use file2hd.com to download YouTube videos as mp4.

    http://file2hd.com

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