Youtube video quality on 1080p phone


New member
Jul 31, 2013
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I got to try a GS4 for about 1 week and was bummed to see less than sharp youtube video quality on that 1080p screen. I was connected to wifi and this happened for all the videos I was watching. Fyi, before using the GS4 I was using an iphone 4, for which the same youtube videos looked way sharper. Could it be that the screen resolution is much greater than certain youtube videos and when they are scaled to 1080 the image quality is reduced? Has anyone else experienced this and what do you think it might be? Is this phenomenon less likely to happen on a 720p resolution phone like the GS3? I am looking into getting a GS4 or HTC One or Note 2. So any feedback from users of these phones would be great too. Alrighty, thanks for the advice.


Jun 27, 2013
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It sounds to me like you're just watching sub-1080p quality videos, whether it's because it's not available in 1080p the quality is being throttled because of your bandwidth. It's kinda like watching a DVD on your 1080p TV, of course it's gonna look bad.

For me videos look great on this phone on YouTube, I'm not too picky though so even 720p looks pretty good to me. I would say it's more of a YouTube thing than a GS4 one.

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Feb 25, 2011
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Were you watching youtube videos through a browser or using the youtube app?
If watching through a browser you'll not get a HD video but a HQ (high quality) video.
Using the youtube app I get a HD video.
Youtube's HQ video is just a less compressed stream up to 480p while the HD stream is either 720p or 1080p depending on what was uploaded.

Try watching something that is natively HD and compare the difference is quite striking.
For example I find animation really shows a difference in HD vs HQ.
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