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Watch YouTube Videos In High Quality

It's a well known fact that while YouTube is popular, its video compression can really ruin a high quality video -- filling it with blocks and artifacts.

The video site has promised for some time that it would start encoding videos at higher resolutions, and it appears there is finally some progress on this front.

In fact, some videos on are already available in the new 480x360 resolution, which isn't huge but certainly an improvement over the old 320x240 format. The video pages for these have a small link on the video page which takes you to the higher quality version.

But here is how you can load the higher quality video by default:

1. Log into YouTube, go to your account settings and under the 'Video Quality' option, you can choose to "always show me higher quality when available."

2. If you don't have a YouTube account, or don't want to log in, simply add &fmt=18 to the end of the YouTube URL to load the high quality version of the video.

3. To embed a high quality video on your site, or blog add the parts in bold to the standard YouTube embed code you're given:

<object width="480" height="397"><param name="movie" value="(URL)&ap=%2526fmt%3D18"></param><param name="wmode" value="window"></param><embed src="(URL)&ap=%2526fmt%3D18" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="window" width="480" height="397"></embed></object>

YouTube says in time a greater percentage of the videos will be available to view in higher quality, and the option is realtively new so it will be a while yet before it is the default but you can begin taking advantage of it right now.

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