Prior to the feature “watch in high quality” offered by YouTube, users could hardly associate “high quality” or “high-resolution” to YouTube’s video clips. To enjoy a higher quality High Definition resolution and stereo audio mode video clips, users have used some tricks in assessing YouTube’s URL. They used a hack switch of &fmt=18 or &fmt=6 to view high quality video resolution. However, this trick has become obsolete once the “watch in high quality” feature was introduced. Having said that, now you probably can use the trick again if you want to watch 720p (720 pixels x 1280 pixels) widescreen video clips.
The “watch in high quality” videos offered by YouTube are available in two versions, both of which have a maximum picture size of 480 x 360 pixels. Clicking on to this feature wouldn’t get you 720p. To get a truly “high quality” version video in 720p, try the hack switch trick again. Instead of the old &fmt=18 or &fmt=6, now you need to add &fmt=22 to the end of the URL. It takes a while for YouTube to stream the high quality video. Of course this trick only works if there are 720p videos uploaded.
To give it a try, you can test this video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlfKdbWwruY. To get the 720p version, add in &fmt=22. It reads as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlfKdbWwruY&fmt=22. If you download this video via MP4, you can read the audio and video formats as follow:
Audio: AAC 44100Hz stereo 232Kbps
Video: MPEG4 Video (H264) 1280×720