YouTube recently announced on their blog the ability to stream HD video, so I decided to find out what the recommended requirements were straight off the Help Center. This past summer I picked up the Canon Vixia HF100 and was waiting for them upgrade to get some of my clips online in a resolution closer to original. A few other streaming video services were on this earlier and they are good, but none have a userbase that rivals in size. For that reason, this was great to finally hear.
As per the requirements listed on the Help Center, they are quite easy to meet or format to meet. If your videos are already 1920 x 1080, there is no need to scale down the dimensions to 1290 x 720. What usually ends up happening is annoying pixelation around edges and within volumes of faster moving objects. Refrain from resizing, and you won’t run into the issue.
Here’s a video I took this past summer of Meerkats hanging out in HD. Make sure to check it out in fullscreen mode. You can read a short tutorial on how in embed YouTube HD videos here. Some other sites offer a slightly different embed code, but the referred website shows how to minimally tweak the original code generated on each video page. Better to tweak than reinvent the wheel.
*update* youtube now auto-embeds a link off the toolbar for the hd version of videos if they are available in that format. You can continue to use the above tutorial if you want, however.
Here’s the format specs I used when processing my video.
I was even successful in directly uploading .m2ts files, if you are wondering whether that format is feasible also.
frame rate: 29.97
variable bit rate: 4000-8300 kbps
video compression data bitrate: 8000 kbps
audio compression data bitrate: 320 kbps