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YouTube steps up high res videos

YouTube significantly increased its maximum video resolution, to accommodate higher-quality video taken with high-definition cameras.

The Google (NSDQ: GOOG)-owned site said it will start accepting 1080p video starting this week. The video-sharing site currently has a maximum output of 720p.

"As resolution of consumer cameras increases, we want to make sure YouTube is the best home on the Web to showcase your content," YouTube software engineer Billy Biggs said Thursday on the company's blog.

The difference in the higher resolution will be seen when viewers with faster computers and big monitors switch to full-screen mode, which will result in a clearer picture than with 720p. The lower resolution will still be available.

In addition, YouTube plans to re-encode 1080p video already sent to the site to make it available in higher resolution.

YouTube has been gradually opening the door to high-quality videos. In March of last year, the site started giving viewers the option of watching higher quality video, if the uploaded source file supported a higher resolution than the standard resolution on the site at the time.

Much of the video submitted to YouTube comes from cameras on mobile phones. As a result, a lot of the video is low-resolution. However, handset makers have been improving the picture quality of their camera phones.

Samsung, for example, released in September the Instinct HD, which packs a 5 megapixel camera and can capture HD video. The device includes a TV-out feature that enables video to played back on an HDTV.

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