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Saturday, 06 December 2008 06:52

YouTube secretly launches 'œWatch in HD' mode for all

Although there’s no official notification on YouTube’s blog as yet, the option to watch videos in much higher quality “HD” mode has now launched, replacing the previous option to watch in “high quality”, with the “watch in normal quality” option still available for those on slower networks or lower download limits.

Although watching YouTube video clips in a so-called higher quality “HD” mode has unofficially been possible through URL hacks for a while, delivering even better quality than the “high quality” mode, the “watch in HD” mode is now available for some clips on YouTube.

After all, the previous “high quality” definitely wasn’t true HD, but it was an improvement at the time that is now being improved on again!

This news comes courtesy of TechCrunch with plenty of people on Twitter also reporting the find.

An article over at CNET has a link to this video in “normal quality” of a Portland cityscape, but if you click on “watch in HD” or just click on this link you can clearly see the much higher detail that the “HD” mode delivers.

As TechCrunch notes, no-one is yet sure whether this is “true” HD at presumably 720p, but it’s unquestionably better, and signals the end of the blurry, low quality online video revolution and the start of the online HD revolution.

The move also comes very shortly after YouTube launched its “widescreen” format, which is now standard across the site.

TechCrunch also links to this video (in standard quality) of a fellow that uploaded a 720p HD video to YouTube, which in standard quality looks like the usual “fuzzy” YouTube quality we’ve all come to expect.

Click the “watch in HD” (or this link) instead, and wow, what a difference!

So much smoother, clearer, and so much more detail!

Undoubtedly an “official” YouTube announcement will come soon, but in the meantime, if you’ve got fast broadband, and you love YouTube, then go online now and check it out for yourself.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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