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Old January 13th, 2009, 07:04 PM   #1
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What size is a YouTube embed?

I thought it would be 1280 or 640, but confusingly this site How to Tweak YouTube embeds for HD playback - CNET says to embed at 630x380! And if you let his video run to the end, the embed code that pops up says 425x344.

Can anyone tell me what's going on?

I'm helping someone design a forum allowing embedded Youtube user videos and it would be good to know what the optimum size for HD embeds is. HQ too.

Cheers!
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Old January 13th, 2009, 09:50 PM   #2
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When HD videos first became available on YouTube, the default playback area was 640x360 (the same as vimeo). The more recent larger playback area that YouTube uses for HD video is 854x484.

For encoding video for HD playback on the web, you will want to encode your video to 1280x720. Although this may not make sense because the playback areas are not 1280x720 by default, but this all changes when you switch to full screen mode.

There is really no special optimal size for HD playback on the web, yet. But you should not go any less than 640x360 and take layout space into consideration if you intend to go greater.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 04:35 AM   #3
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Thanks Wes.

But what is the actual native .flv size of the video that YT is feeding you? It can't be the full 1280, can it? That's overkill. If I try downloading the .flv file from YT they only give me the cruddy 320x180 version.*

It would be good to know because embedding ideally should be at the .flv file's native size to facilitate optimum playback.


*makes sense if YT is worried about the copyright holders of music videos arguing that fans won't buy DVDs because they can download HD for free from YT.

Last edited by Karel Bata; January 14th, 2009 at 05:58 AM.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 11:10 AM   #4
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YouTube is actually feeding you a 1280x720 mp4 video encoding using the h.264 codec. If you want to check out the videos YouTube encodes for HD, check out this little browser bookmarklet Download YouTube Videos as MP4 Files which allows you to download the new HD videos.

You can also do the same with Vimeo, go to http://clipnabber.com/ and insert a HD Vimeo url into the text field, and you will see that after downloading the HD FLV video it is 1280x720.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 02:34 PM   #5
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Cheers Wes.

I am a little surprised. Thanks for the links.
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