A few weeks back, we posted news about the fact that Youtube was testing HD (high-definition) video playback.  Shortly after that, Youtube officially launched HD video playback on their site.  When it was first launched, videos in HD would play within the new widescreen 16:9 default player on Youtube.  Now, when you choose the HD playback, the layout of the page is modified to display a much larger video player that expands the width of the page.   The new video size is a huge 855*480 pixels (actual resolution is 1280×720) and the player is 855*505 pixels.  Apparently this change was made back on December 5, but some users are just now seeing the update.

Upload HD Videos to Youtube and Embed High definition Youtube Videos youtube hd 600x382

For uploading, aside from paying uploaders and partners, users are still limited currently to the 10 minute duration max (hint- you can actually upload 10:59) and the 1GB file-size restrictions.  However, if you upload a video originally exported to an HD format, these videos are being converted retroactively by Youtube for HD playback.

So, How do you Upload Video in HD to Youtube?

For the highest quality, YouTube now recommends the following setting for your video:

  • MPEG4 (DivX, Xvid, H.264) format
  • 1280x720 resolution or 1080p
  • 128k Mono or 320k Stereo MP3/AAC audio
  • 24,25 or 30 frames per second
  • Up to 2GB file size and 15:59 min. duration

YouTube accepts a wide range of video file formats such as .WMV, .AVI and .MOV but you may get the best results from converting your file to MPEG4 video with MP3 audio.

ALSO ►  List of Video Search Engines and Video Search Web Sites (Updated)

What if you want to force HD playback when linking to a Youtube video?

Simple.  All you need to do is to append the following after the url string. So, instead of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUFOAYOJMFk, you would have https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUFOAYOJMFk&fmt=

  • &fmt=6 - increases the resolution from 320x240 to 448x336, Flash 7 video @ 900Kbps; audio @ 44.1KHz 96Kbps Mono CBR.
  • &fmt=18 - increases the resolution to 480x360, H.264 video @ 512Kbps; audio @ 44.1KHz 128Kbps Stereo.
  • &fmt=22 - increases the resolution to 1280×720 (720p), H.264 video @ 1024Kbps; audio @ 44.1KHz 232Kbps Stereo.

What if you want to embed Youtube videos in HD?

Again, simple.  Keep in mind that you will need to have uploaded an HD video in order to allow it to playback.  If not, you will only be able to display a high-quality version using fmt=18. All you need to do is make certain that "&ap=%2526fmt%223D&ap=%2526fmt%3D22" is appended to the URL string in the embed code.

<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="502" height="301" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="src" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/hUFOAYOJMFk&amp;ap=%2526fmt%3D22" /><param name="wmode" value="window" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="502" height="301" src="https://www.youtube.com/v/hUFOAYOJMFk&amp;ap=%2526fmt%3D22" wmode="window"></embed></object>

So, here is the resulting video:

Note - one nice thing that you will notice is that embedding the video in this manner also gets rid of the Youtube search box that typically appears at the top of the video.

  • Ador Montel

    how to download youtube videos in HD format using IDM???

    please its support

  • Adolf Lancer

    been there done that..

  • Paulus Anthony Hutagalung

    will try...

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002833495463 Mansoor Akhtar

    So cool

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1400329414 Mohsin Sohail


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002528290737 Jeesic Franks

    it will take a too long time to upload.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001478870655 M Shoaib M Shahbaz

    I love you.

  • Haresh B Thakor

    How To Upload HD Video?

  • Mohammed Shiraz Uddin

    in year 2012. how is going to be?

  • Soccerhater1289

    how do i save a video that iis hd on to my computer and edit it and put it back on youtube in hd it defaults back to 240 instead on the 720p 60fps hd

  • serg

    Seems 21 FPS was my mistake, because youtube offers only 480p on my uploaded video (it was 720p)

  • yt

    i have near 700 hd clips uploaded by me in youtube.all of them are hd .i use when processing them the imtoo tools.because as i searched and used that only the way errorless to upload hd clips to youtube passes by imtoo tools.

  • thecenation1996

    thanks guys

  • Tred Streaming

    Hello mate, I need 3D type option in embed, please help me
    thanks a lot

    PS: sorry for my English

  • Studiocfm

    have a look at a free high-quality converter called MPEG Streamclip. i´m trying it out H264 to be able to edit on FCE then output in the format for you tube i guess is Mpeg4 1280X 720 frame rates 24 25 or 30

  • Star

    Everytime I try to uplaod a video full screen (which I have before) it's now not working....the black lines are showing up on the sides for some reason. I am uploading it the same way 1280x720...but it always comes out wrong now. Does anyone know how I can fix this? I am uploading from Sony Vegas movie studio 9..thanks! :)

  • Antoine POURCHOT

    Hello, I uploaded a video on YouTube.
    The original was a HD video created with Powerdirector8.
    I tried several extension (*.avi, *.mov) but the video on YouTube was not in HD. Finally, I used MPEG-2 (extension *.mpg) and my video on YouTube can be watched in HD 1080p
    Best regards

  • Jack

    Hey Mark. I film my YouTube videos with an HD Camera and it is uploaded onto iMovie for editing. On iMovie, the video is still in HD. Once it is uploaded to YouTube, the video goes to regular quality, out of its original HD state. How do I fix this? Thanks! - Jack

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Hey Jack - rather than exporting it directly to YouTube from iMovie, first
      export the video out of iMovie to your desktop or another folder using
      1280*720 (AKA apple TV) or 1900*1080 MP4 h.264 and then upload that file to
      youtube. For some reason, iMovie has it set to export directly to youtube
      using non-HD settings.... weird.. Let me know if that helps. Thanks for
      reading Jack...

      • Jack

        Thanks man. You are a genius! It worked like a charm!

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          Good to hear.. Ok, thanks again for reading

  • Lana

    Hi, I have a camera that takes HD video and when the videos are uploaded to youtube without any editing, everything's fine. However, in order for me to edit my videos they need to be in something other than .mov format so using a video format converter, I convert them to .wmv. Then, when I edit the videos using Windows Movie Maker, save the file, and upload onto youtube, the video plays in HQ not HD. My video format converter doesn't convert to MPEG4 and the free converters I've found don't either. How can I fix this? :(

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Make sure the final resolution is 1280x720 and of that doesn't work,
      use something like handbrake to convert it to mp4. Let me know if that

      Sent from my mobile phone. Please forgive any typos.

      • Lana

        Thanks, I just converted the file to MP4 and when i upload the file onto youtube, it's HD. However, windows movie maker isn't compatible with the file :/ What can I do now?

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          you mean you need an editor that edits mp4 files?

        • Lana

          Yeah, a free one with as many features as windows movie maker. Unless I don't need it in the MP4 format?

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          hmmm.. not sure about free ones. Have you tried videospin by pinnacle - it
          is free and pretty good.

        • Lana

          I downloaded videospin but there are no options to save the files as 1280x720 resolution and when I save the files and upload them onto youtube, they're not in HD. Ahh, I don't see the point in having a camera that records in HD now if the final result won't be in HD!

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          Id agree with you. Unfortunately, Im not as familiar with Free programs or
          moviemaker. I use Pinnacle HD Studio = only like $99 and works great for

        • Lana

          I'm just an unemployed teenager who lives off her mom, so I don't have that money to spend, unfortunately. Oh well, HQ quality is. Maybe someday I'll get a better editing program.

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          have you tried updating the moviemaker program? I would think they would
          support mp4... Perhaps not..

        • Lana

          I did and the program still didn't save in HD, but after lots of messing around, I found that Windows Live Movie Maker saves in HD. All this time I've been using the regular Windows Movie maker because it was so much easier to use but I guess I'll be switching over! Thanks for the help, I appreciate it :)

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          Ahh... good to know. I have windows movie maker Live and thought it worked
          but wasnt sure. I see now. I think that the Live version is what comes
          with Windows7. Good to know that you got things figured out. Thanks for
          reading and shoot me the url of your video when you get it up. Good luck
          and thanks again - glad I could help.

  • alexbeevers

    You definitly have to know how to size your video, so that it wil not be distorted. Thank you for the information,this will help me in the future.

  • cmn2art

    I keep attempting to upload a HD 5min. video which plays perfectly on my computer but when uploaded the video and audio don't match up. There's a delay with the video of about 1 second. How do I fix this particular problem?

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      That is odd, you are sure that the version you are uploading is in sync? If so, what format and details are you using for the final upload ?

  • vikkey

    upload my videos

  • matt

    this suddenly changed last night, now HD does NOT show a bigger sized video - i cant beleive it. I have gone back and checked all my previously uploaded HD videos and again, they now also do NOT display with the larger screen width size - Youtube have screwed it AGAIN!!! or is it me?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/kaza044 kaza044

    Thanks for the nice tips about HD on YouTube. I need some advice. I have 640x480 videos that I want to upload to YouTube. I want YouTube to keep them in 640x480 instead of reducing them to 320x240 as it does. Is there a way to do this? My files are in the following form: Container: avi, video: H264, audio: mp3 , 640x480 pixels, 30 images/s. They come from a DMC-FX10 Panasonic compact camera, and I process them with "Format Factory" before feeding them to YouTube.

  • Justin

    With regards to embedding HQ for everyone who views your videos, you say to add "&ap=%2526fmt%3D22″ to the embed code but I am unable to do so.

    Nowhere in my account page, or in the edit screen for my videos, do I see embedded code or any option to edit it.

    Every video I watch on YouTube has the embedded code underneath the "more info" section on the right hand side but it is greyed out. I click "customize" but I am only able to alter size and colour of the player - and even that doesn't work.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ Mark Robertson

      You are correct. There is no way to prepare this for your viewers. They would have to manually add this string after the URL in each instance of the embed code. Furthermore, it appears that this doesnt work customized embed options when choosing the playlist or "related videos"

  • Gwen

    You can also select the color/size of player by using the "customize" feature of youtube.
    It is located on the right of the embed text field. You may select if you want borders shown, have the marquee with related vids at the end, etc.

  • http://emonome.com Emon

    I've been using this to embed HQ videos. http://www.vtubetools.com/

    The best part is, it lets me select color of player too.