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Service continues to aggressively pursue offering a wealth of content with Google's typical deliver first, profit later model

Concerns about YouTube's profitability still remain.  As the Google-owned online video juggernaut explores ways of justifying its massive bandwidth expenses, it isn't being hesitant when it comes to adding to those expenses. 

YouTube just announced that it will be bumping the maximum quality of its high definition videos to 1080p, up from the previous 720p.  Writes YouTube software engineer Billy Biggs on the company's blog, "As resolution of consumer cameras increases, we want to make sure YouTube is the best home on the Web to showcase your content."

In March YouTube began offering HD video for the first time.  Much of its video is captured from mobile devices, such as camera phones, but even camera phones have now started becoming HD-capable.  One example is Samsung's Instinct HD, available since September.  Packing a 5 megapixel camera, the phone is capable of shooting and posting HD video.

With the bump to 1080p, YouTube says it will upgrade videos previously originally sent in 1080p that were automatically downconverted to 720p.  For those who want it, 720p will remain an option, though.

For those with fast computers and large monitors, the bump to 1080p should provide a nice noticeable difference in picture quality.  Now if YouTube can only find ways to become profitable, it would be truly on a roll.

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Bitrate Information
By Chris Peredun on 11/16/2009 10:35:29 AM , Rating: 3
From about halfway down the comments section on the linked blog, some bitrate information, courtesy of "Nintendo Maniac 64"

Video is AVC High Profile 4.0, VBR at 5Mbps (peaked at 9Mbps in sample video)
Audio is AAC4, VBR at 128Kbps (peaked at 149Kbps in sample video)

There's a lot of complaints there about the audio quality as well; apparently it's been downgraded to 128Kbps VBR from the 256Kbps VBR that was present in the 720p videos.

RE: Bitrate Information
By DarkElfa on 11/16/2009 10:59:16 AM , Rating: 3
Sweet, now we can get more Standard Def stuff uploaded as 1080p instead of 720p.

RE: Bitrate Information
By Noya on 11/16/2009 11:58:50 AM , Rating: 3
No doubt. I always leave a snide comment when some douche uploads SD and labels it as HD.

RE: Bitrate Information
By omnicronx on 11/16/2009 1:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
A better thing to know would be the comparison between 720p and 1080p. 1080p video is around 2.25 the size of 720 in terms pixel size (0.9MP vs 2.25MP), so unless youtube increased the bandwidth 2.25fold, quality could actually be degraded in many situations.(ex, anything fast motion)

This is most likely why they had to reduce the audio quality and why some people have been complaining about the video quality.

Really I don't see how this is going to save any money either. Are they really trying to claim that the majority of Youtube users really care about 1080p over 720p? Even worse, do they really expect more clicks as a result of the jump? All I see here is an added cost to a system that needs to cut them dramatically.

People go to youtube because it is a household name and has more content than any other site of its kind. While I am sure many users accepted 720p video and now 1080p video with open arms (myself included), these people are hardly the majority, and are most likely not the kind of person that is going to click on advertisements.

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