Three weeks ago, YouTube began testing high-definition videos. The feature is now officially released.
A great number of videos that met YouTube’s requirements for HD encoding currently have a “watch in HD” button, rather than the former button “watch in high quality”. YouTube has yet to release an official statement, but it is already easy to find many HD videos on the site.
Prior to today, you were only able to see HD versions of videos if you added a code in front of a YouTube URL and there was no way to differentiate, which videos would format correctly and which would not.
The video quality on these HD videos is much imporved, and are serious competition for Vimeo, and other sites. You should also realize that in effort to watch these streaming videos without constant buffering and shuttering it is important that you have a rather fast broadband connection.
Within the last couple of weeks, YouTube has introduced many new features like their enw wide-screen format, and the addition of over 25,000 new songs to its AudioSwap feature from Rumblefish.