YouTube has admitted that it is experimenting with a new 1080p video quality for premium subscribers, allowing them to get better bitrates. Recently, some YouTube Premium subscribers took to Reddit to report a new video quality available for videos. A YouTube spokesperson confirmed that the new “1080p Premium” option in the video quality settings is currently available to select YouTube Premium subscribers.
According to YouTube’s Paul Pennington, quoted by ledge, “1080p Premium is an enhanced bitrate version of 1080p that provides more information per pixel resulting in a higher quality viewing experience.” He added that there is no change to the video quality options currently available on YouTube, including the regular 1080p resolution. The new 1080p Premium option isn’t widely available yet, which means most Premium users don’t have access to it.
A higher bitrate in 1o80p Premium means that more data travels through each second of video than would happen with regular 1080p quality. Because of this, a 1080p video can look better than a poor 4K video. Thus, YouTube may be planning to offer this option which enhances the viewing experience behind paywalls. Apart from bitrate, color depth is another factor that decides how well a video can look, regardless of the video quality.
But how different will 1080p premium and regular 1080p look? YouTube’s standard 1080p bitrate is somewhere between 8Mbps and 10Mbps, while 1080p Blu-ray video’s bitrate maxes out at 40Mbps, so the difference is visible. Thus, regular 1080p video will look more blocky than Blu-ray video. Apart from this, the quality of the video also depends on the codec used to compress the video. So, if YouTube is using the same codec to stream both 1080p and 1080p premium quality videos, the latter should look better.
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