YouTube has officially enabled High Quality in embedded videos. The new embedded player sports a little HQ button in the expanded menu, which is strangely absent from YouTube’s on-site player. Hacking the code is no longer necessary; if you listen closely, you can hear the sound of hundreds of FAQs around the world crying out in horror as they are rendered obsolete.
One can only assume that they decided they were ready for the blast of traffic that will certainly result from the huge amount of embedded high-quality videos to come. Doubtless the stream pipe has to be a lot fatter for the HQ videos, but advances in compression efficacy have ensured that doubling the image quality doesn’t double the size of the video. The downloadable version whether you’re watching HD or SD is the same — that is to say, it’s the HD version no matter what. For Obama’s inauguration, it’s 95MB, which at 21 minutes long is about 600kb/s if my rough calculations are correct, just fine for streaming.
Test it out in the player below. You have to hit play before the HQ button shows. The shaky camera is not a function of the HD, just a very cold cameraman.
Unfortunately, there’s still no button that makes the comments high quality.