Hi-res videos coming to YouTube

YouTube Video Eee PCYouTube may be the most popular video sharing site on the web. But it's often panned for having some of the lowest-quality videos on the web as well. And when we say quality, we're not making value judgments about the videos of teenagers singing karaoke. What we mean is that YouTube tends to encode videos at low bitrates and low resolutions.

But YouTube co-founder Steven Chen says that will change soon. When you upload a video to YouTube, your original file in all its high-res glory is sitting on YouTube's server. But the site compresses that video into a Flash video file that can easily be watched from pretty much any computer with an internet connection.

Chen says YouTube is working on technology that will auto-detect a user's network speed and determine whether to stream a low quality or high quality version of the video. The new player could be up on the site within three months.

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