YouTube (kind of) embraces 720p HD

Video-streaming site offers HD playback with a little help of some code

You may have noticed over the last few months a number of videos have been popping up on YouTube offering a high-quality alternative. Unfortunately, high-quality doesn't mean HD. That is, until now.

An engineer at YouTube has let slip that by adding just a little bit of code to the end of a video's URL can up the quality of the video to 720p.

While it doesn't work on all videos – it all depends on how good the source material is – it does make a huge difference in the crispness of the footage.

Code breaker

The code in question is &fmt=22. Add this to the end of the URL in your search bar and it will apparently stream the video in HD quality.

One of the examples given is an update to the YouTube hit 'Where The Hell Is Matt?'.

So far, YouTube's high-quality button only offers mp4 videos encoded using H.264 with stereo AAC sound at 480x360, so a 720p upgrade is welcomed.


Content Team Lead

Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.