YouTube Spotted Testing ‘1080p Premium’ Video Quality With Enhanced Bitrate

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YouTube seems to be testing a new high-quality video feature for its users. The new video quality, referred to as “1080p Premium,” appears on YouTube’s video quality settings with “Enhanced bitrate” label accompanying 1080p quality. The feature, discovered by a Reddit user, seems to be available only for YouTube Premium users. The option appears alongside the ‘regular’ 1080p streaming quality. Earlier, YouTube tested to limit 4K and higher resolution videos to premium subscribers only.

According to a Reddit post on the r/LinusTechTips subreddit, YouTube is testing out an “Enhanced bitrate” option for 1080p video. The option would let users watch higher quality videos at 1080p, without switching to 1440p or 2160p (4K) quality.

In the Reddit post, a screenshot from a YouTube video shows quality preferences ranging from 144p to 1080p, with an additional 1080p option listed with the “Enhanced bitrate” label. The Premium tag accompanying the 1080p streaming quality suggests that the feature would only be limited to YouTube premium subscribers.

This new feature has been spotted days after YouTube appointed Neal Mohan as the new CEO after former Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki stepped down. Wojcicki said she intended to focus on “family, health, and personal projects I’m passionate about.” Wojcicki, previously a senior vice president for ad products at Google, became CEO of YouTube in 2014.

Last year, YouTube was spotted testing a feature to limit 4K and higher resolution videos to premium subscribers only. The new feature was first spotted by a Reddit user. A screengrab of the video quality selection menu was shared with the option to play at 2160p with a “Premium – Tap to upgrade” caption. However, the new restriction was spotted with the location set to the US, hinting that the new video quality was being tested for quality-based revenue model in the US.

The feature also hinted that free users would be limited to the maximum video quality of 1440p while playing videos.

YouTube Premium subscription starts at Rs. 129 a month. Users can also become premium members via pre-paid plans for one-month, three-month, and 12-month periods, which cost Rs. 139, Rs. 399, and Rs. 1,290, respectively.


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