Straight from the "getting blood from a stone" files, YouTube has announced that it will begin streaming 1080p video next week. Until now, the highest resolution YouTube could stream was 720p, and that was only a minority of videos. The move to true, modern HD is a significant change for the service.
Don't expect a sudden jump in quality for all YouTube videos, though. Video quality is constrained by the original footage and the display used to view the end result. If the video was shot on an SD camcorder, or an HD camcorder that can only record 720p (like the popular Flip UltraHD), it won't take advantage of 1080p streaming. Even if the footage was recorded in 1080p, if you watch YouTube on your computer, on an ordinary monitor, you probably won't see a difference. If you watch YouTube on an HDTV and the video you select was shot on a decent 1080p video camera, you'll probably see a nice bump in quality.
I'd put money on it not exactly rivaling Blu-ray, though.
— Will Greenwald
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