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YouTube Goes Full HD, Bing Loses Beta Tags

Gordon Kelly


YouTube Goes Full HD, Bing Loses Beta Tags

As sure as rain follows rain right now in London, these two (biggish) developments were inevitable...

Firstly YouTube has stepped up its High Definition game promising 1080p 'Full HD' videos will soon be added on the site.

"We're excited to say that support for watching 1080p HD videos in full resolution is on its way," said YouTube software engineer Billy Biggs. "Starting next week, YouTube's HD mode will add support for viewing videos in 720p or 1080p, depending on the resolution of the original source, up from our maximum output of 720p today. As resolution of consumer cameras increases, we want to make sure YouTube is the best home on the web to showcase your content. For viewers with big monitors and a fast computer, try switching to 1080p to get the most out of the fullscreen experience."

This last point is particularly relevant since many laptops and all non-Ion based netbooks will be unable to play 1920 x 1080 resolution content since claims of 'HD playback' generally refer only to 720p (1280 x 720 pixels). Still, if your computer can handle it check out the sample video above.

Next is Bing and Microsoft has today dropped the beta tags and delivered the full fat edition of the website to UK surfers. The biggest change this brings ('Bings'?) is 'Bing Maps' which replaces the former link to Multimap and it's a credible challenger to Google Maps with Ordinance Survey and Tube maps overlays, POIs, walking directions and user generated content.

On top of this Bing UK now can handle written questions ("Which tourist attraction should I take my in-laws to at the weekend?"), adds visual and Twitter search, shopping integration through 'Caio UK' and more. Google probably won't have to worry just yet, but it's a promising step forward.


YouTube Official Blog Post

Bing Official Blog Post


November 14, 2009, 12:00 am

Er...isn't that test video useless since its only takes up maybe 640 x 480 pixels or something like that? In fact I've never seen a proper 720p on youtube as it would take up the whole screen leaving little room for anything else. Am I being stupid here? HD on you tube doesn't seem to be HD atall


November 14, 2009, 12:28 am

It's difficult enough to load 720p content on fast connections. 8mb isn't always fast enough if others are sharing the connection, and my university connection seems to cap youtube and other types of streaming. That said I did download something the other day on the university network 4.5mb/s. That was fun. Normally downloads are capped at around 200kbps/s


November 14, 2009, 4:18 am

@ Gingerscot: click the little HD logo then click the fullscreen button works on all HD vids on youtube.

the more obvious question is that the 1080p test video is useless untill next week when the youtube guy says it's starting the rollout next week :S

@ darkspace: works fine for me not a single frame drop, it's prob a case with your CPU not the download speed since flash video runs purely on the CPU at this moment in time


November 14, 2009, 4:53 am

@Gingerscot That's what the fullscreen button is for.. ;) Of course you need a screen with a resolution of at least 1920x1080. 1280x720 for the 720p.

Dark of Day

November 14, 2009, 9:06 am

@gingerscot: I think you were meant to watch it in full screen. surely that's the only benefit of HD video on youtube

Bandwidth is the fun part. The more we demand the sooner someone will get round to providing a better system.


November 14, 2009, 4:30 pm

Thanks guys, you've made me seem like an idiot now:P I knew about the HD button obviously but for some reason failed to notice the full screen button over these years! Impressive stuff!

With the days of HD meaning anything do you think less technically-minded people actually realise they are not watching a video in HD (they will be streaming the extra data though(?) until they click on full screen? I knew it was wrong but I didn't know I could full screen which is different?


November 14, 2009, 10:52 pm

@Gingerscot - I suppose that's why YouTube have always made HD & HQ mode optional up to now (you have to press a button to watch at HD & HQ resolution). For windowed viewing the player defaults to normal, standard definition, quality.

I assume the extra resolution will only really come into its own when watching videos fullscreen on a decent sized monitor/TV.


November 15, 2009, 10:31 pm

nice to know the video stops and starts erratically on my macbook.

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