Back at the end of November YouTube made a big announcement about their newly enhanced support for High Definition videos: Bigger Isn't Always Better... But in This Case, We Believe It Is
Over the years we've heard a lot of feedback from you about what you'd like to change about YouTube, and the size of our video player is always top of mind. That's why today we're excited to announce a bigger YouTube player.
We're expanding the width of the page to 960 pixels to better reflect the quality of the videos you create and the screens that you use to watch them. This new, wider player is in a widescreen aspect ratio which we hope will provide you with a cleaner, more powerful viewing experience. And don't worry, your 4:3 aspect ratio videos will play just fine in this new player.
So I was surprised tonight when I uploaded an HD screencast and couldn't find an HD viewing option. I went looking for an answer and found this buried in the YouTube site issues forum:
We made improvements to standard quality for video uploads! Unless there is a large difference between standard quality and HQ , the upload will produce standard quality by default (and not HQ as before).
So, YouTube just arbitrarily decides that your HD video isn't worthy of being displayed in HD format? They may have made some improvements to their standard video format, but it still sucks in comparison to the HD versions. Screencasts shot for HD consumption are blurry and much lower quality when not viewed in HD. There is a large difference. A huge difference. That's why people produce HD in the first place.
For this reason I'm moving my screencasts to Vimeo where they can be viewed at the higher quality I intended. I know they won't have as many views as they receive on YouTube, but what are you supposed to do? I'm not going to produce them for less than optimal viewing when I know I can do better.
You can compare the quality of the videos for yourself:Vimeo: Gmail: Displaying your geo-location in your signature.
UPDATE: Googl is now making it available in HD-- so who knows. They read my blog post? :)