Youtube should increase its video and audio quality! sign now

Youtube should increase its video quality!

Of all video sharing sites, Youtube is the biggest one. However, Youtube is also the one with the worst video quality. Youtube transcodes ALL videos uploaded into 320x240 FLV (in the outdated Sorenson Spark H.263 codec) with a bitrate of around 300kb/s. This will result in alot of compression artifacts, low sharpness and much more things which reduce video quality.

Youtube compresses audio in 64kb/s 22khz mono mp3. This seriously reduces sound quality and is TOTALLY unneeded. For sound quality which gets close to CD, you only need 128 to 160kb/s 44khz stereo mp3. The way Youtube transcodes the audio only causes to get alot of fidelity lost. This is really bad for independant filmmakers who want to put a nice soundtrack to their movies, or a classical symphony who wants to show their music on Youtube!

What we want is that Youtube atleast updates their video codec to the ON6 codec, which is supported in the Flash 8 player. Even better would be using H.264, which has been added in the Flash 9 player. This codec compresses even better than ON6, allowing for the better quality at the same bitrate.

The current resolution is 320x240. 640x480 or higher would be much better for both full-screen viewing and watching the 'normal' page on a larger monitor. With the increasing size and resolution of computer screens, 320x240 video starts to become really small. So we suggest that Youtube increases the resolution of videos as well.

We also want that Youtube increases its audio quality, by either rising the bitrate of the MP3 codec to atleast 128kb/s with a 44khz sample rate and also by using stereo. Or using 64kb/s HE-AAC, which is supported by Flash 9. This can even save Youtube costs because if they want to increase the quality with the current, outdated codecs they will seriously enlargen the transcoded files.

But..... what if the source is some 176x144 telephone with the same sound quality you hear when you call someone? Youtube should add a detection for what quality the source is before it gets transcoded. A low quality movie taken from a telephone camera which gets recompressed twice before uploading could be transcoded to a much lower quality then it is now. This saves Youtube costs and we get faster loading times for those movies. If a independant filmmaker wants to upload a decently compressed H.264 file from a HD camera source, then the movie could be uploaded in 500kb/s 640x480 ON-6 or H.264 with 160kb/s mp3 audio. This will give everyone a better experience on Youtube!

So, a small summary: We ask Youtube to atleast update their video codec, increase resolution (and if possible bitrate) and increase audio bitrates. In order to compensate for any eventual higher bandwidth costs, a detection should be built in that a low quality source will be transcoded in a lower bitrate than from a good quality source.

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Chris HoBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
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Youtube / Google

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