Users always complain that the quality of videos on YouTube.com is bad. YouTube.com has huge video storage, but the quality of videos is sometimes unusable.
Several months ago, a new feature appeared on the most popular video site in the world. If you visit YouTube.com and look on the lower right corner of the flash player, you will find a "watch in high quality" link. If you click this link, you will watch the video in much higher quality than standard. This is not old "YouTube" pure video resolution, it looks as good as video on veoh.com or blip.tv (in fact, it is H264 video encoding with AAC audio). The problem is that sometimes this link appears, and sometimes not. Another big question is how to embed video into your web page in this "high quality."
There is a very easy trick to do this. Below you can find instructions.
Add a flag to the URL. In order to watch a video on YouTube.com in "high quality," just add the "&fmt=18" flag to the URL address. Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxxxxxxxxxx&fmt=18. You can also add "&fmt=22." This flag is for even higher quality--for 720p HD quality videos.
Use a different flag to embed code. However, this "&fmt=18" and "&fmt=22" flag does not work for embedded code. You cannot embed video into your blog or Web site using those flags.
In order to embed video in "high quality" into a web page, add and append "&ap=%2526fmt%3D18" (or "&ap=%2526fmt%3D22") to the end of video clip's URL specified in "param value" and "embed src."
Example: "http://www.youtube.com/v/xxxxxxxxxxx&hl=en&rel=0&ap=%2526fmt%3D18"> </param> <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ xxxxxxxxxxx &hl=en&rel=0&ap=%2526fmt%3D18."
Enlarge video resolution. Embedded video can be enlarged until 480×360 resolution. To do this, replace appropriate width and height parameters in embedded HTML code.
YouTube.com users noticed that this "&fmt=18" trick works only if the uploaded video has resolution sizes of 640x480 or larger. If you, for example, uploaded a 320x240 video, you cannot get a better quality version. For the "&fmt=22" trick, originally uploaded video must be in 720p quality. This "high quality" video can be released in stereo audio if the file originally uploaded was in stereo.
Please also note that the HD video requires that Flash Player 9 or later be installed on your machine to view the video.
Why does YouTube.com have so many undocumented features? It seems that "high quality" video is still in beta. Sizes of these videos are much larger also, so Google is just saving their traffic. Therefore, old, pure quality is still the default on the biggest video site in the world.