YouTube has been playing with higher quality movies for some time, but it seems that the feature has now been fully deployed for all to use and watch. Often you’ll see or hear the term “HD” and in general it really means “higher quality”. It might be possible to upload 720p (1280×720) movies, but so far, I have not seen anything that remotely feels like 720p quality when viewed in fullscreen. Yet, this is a great improvement for YouTube.
From a business standpoint, this is even more interesting: YouTube is still not profitable due to the high cost of storage and bandwidth and this cost is just about to go even higher. In return, better video quality will attract video makers and viewers. At the same time, competitors are going to find themselves in a place where it is tough to compete, given that they too are having a hard time to monetize their sites. The difference is that Google has much deeper pockets than anyone else in this field.