HD720P videos from YouTube Tested on UMPCs.

Posted on 21 November 2008, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

youtubehd _1__0001 An article on Wired yesterday alerted me to something I’ve been waiting for for a long time. High Quality H.264 videos on YouTube. [Update: YouTube have now announced a widescreen player.] Medium quality stereo H.264 vidoes have been available for some time using the fmt=18 trick [example] and you can even download them with an easy-to-use Firefox toolbar add-on but the availability of the 1280×720, possibly original-format versions, is a great step forward and with a tweak of that download toolbar, you can download them too which allows netbooks and other ultra mobile PC’s to play the files that would otherwise struggle trying to play¬† through the built-in H.264-enabled flash player. (Video below)

Unfortunately the file I tested didn’t work perfectly on the Aigo MID. The frame-rate was about 50% and it could be due to CPU-based scaling to the 800×480 screen. Normally a 2.5mbps H.264 would work on the Aigo but in this case, it didn’t. On other devices though, it worked well. With the Raon Everun Note, which uses the AMD Turion X2 and Radeon R690 graphics processor, the files played through KMPlayer¬† with ease at around 60% CPU utilisation with the CPU throttled-back to 800Mhz on battery power. The quality looked superb, possibly due to some post-processing that the R690 does. On the Medion Akoya Mini, close relation to the MSI Wind U100, the files played back at about 60% utilisation (using K-lite codec pack and KMPlayer’s option to use multiple CPU threads) with the CPU at 1.6Ghz. On the Kohjinsha SC3 which has the high-end Poulsbo chipset, the whole video played very nicely through Windows 7 Media player (it has H.264 hardware decoding support built-in) with the CPU at 800Mhz and showing just a 40% loading. See the video demo below.

The video was only recorded at 30fps in 640×480 so you won’t see the full quality but you’ll see and hear a difference if you go to my blip.tv channel or iTunes (RSS) to watch this video in original 1mbps WMV quality.

It’s not known how YouTube will enabled this across the site in the future and whether they will provide their own client-side player or a download facility but if they do enable a set of videos and showcase them in some way it could be a great way to get quality video content for your mobile device.

Via: Wired

7 Comments For This Post

  1. Alfa says:

    How does it work?
    I installed Greasemonkey extension for Firefox and Greasemonkey script but when i push on the “Get YouTube video” button nothing happens.

  2. Chippy says:

    Its nothing to do with Greesemonkey. Its a small javascript toolbar aplet. All is explained in the linked article above.

  3. Lucien says:

    Simpy use vimeo.com. They offer 720p for ages and the original file can be downloaded as well.

    Free as well.

  4. Chippy says:

    Vimeo still uses FLV format. The fact that YouTube is H.264 is significant for all the devices that have H.264 hardware decoding. The SC3 for example, wouldn’t be able to decode 5mbps of FLV, but it can decode 16mbps of H.264! Hopefuly Vimeo goes H.264 soon. (Unless its already moved to H.264. In which case, ignore these comments!)


  5. Lucien says:

    Ah ok got the difference. Yes vimeo online playback is still FLV but are considering this (discussion is here: http://www.vimeo.com/forums/topic:5110). Depending on the machine either FLV or H.264 can be faster (like H.264 hardware decoding). Best if both would be offered.

    However with vimeo you can always download the original file (unless owner disabled it).

  6. Alfa says:

    The applet doesn’t start; so i downloaded Free YouTube Download from DVDVideoSoft and succesfully downloaded from YouTube your mp4 video about Gigabyte M912m.
    What is strange is that VLC player says that video is compressed by avc1 codec, Light Alloy – by YV12 codec, and Media player classic – by H.264 codec

    FLV is not exactly a format of video compressing. It is a format of container. Video in FLV container can be H.263 or H.264

  7. Chippy says:

    Yes, you’re right about the container. H.263 is the format i’m referring to as flash video.

    The issue really is the player though. The decoding code in the player is very inefficient.


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