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This bothers me a bit(Sneaky quality reduction in vids), YouTube being YouTube?

A bit curious about this matter.

I assume most people recall the talk about how sites like YouTube and Netflix would "temporarily" lower the quality on their streams to reduce the stress on internet infrastructure in EU when the first wave of "Stay at home people, corona is here" hit. Essentially we had this big influx of people staying at home, consuming video and content more than usual causing a lot more bandwidth to move over our lines. Due to this YouTube and Netflix would limit their streams in some way. Easiest way to do this is lower the bitrate of a video stream and make take away 4K/8K option on movies.

I don't watch Netflix myself, however I do use YouTube in plenty and now we're over half a year in from what I believe is the time they started to put this limitation into place. I started noticing how videos from content creators I watch would appear a bit more blocky than usual and in a way their videos never appeared before, and noticed some of my own videos lack some clarity and appearing worse than what I remembered. Obviously it is what it is, and even though I'm pretty damn certain the infrastructure we have here handled it, I cannot really argue against the decision of it in the rest of Europe or other areas of other continents. Do what you have to do to manage sort of deal to me.

But time has passed now, and I've not heard or seen any talks or posts about it since the initial articles or when it's moving back, and I'm wondering if this "potentially" is a move from YouTube to try to cheap out and save money in the longer run since there's not been enough complaints or public opinion about it yet? Obviously lowering the quality of the stream, dragging down the bitrate for millions of active videos being streamed every second will reduce computing and bandwidth costs to run their service, so if no one tells them to go back, what is their incentive to do so(I don't think the kindness of their heart is enough here)?

I've had this in the back of my head for a while, but today I just quickly scanned through a video I uploaded in the beginning of 2019, uploaded as a 1080p file. I'm not kidding when I'm saying that in some dark areas it was almost unwatchable and I started thinking that there's no way in hell I uploaded a video looking like this. I know there might be some quality degradation when looking at a YouTube video compared to the source file and that makes perfect sense as YouTube process the video files and fiddle with it after the fact, but nothing like this.

And as a note, it looks way worse when it's moving video, but this should clearly show enough.

So then I wonder, does anyone know of any statements from YouTube how long they plan on doing this for or bigger names talking about it?(I'd like to assume I'm not alone). Or is it possible that ISP's have a bigger play in this and it not being YouTube who even decides to keep it this way and for how long? I'm pretty certain it started as an incentive from EU once the lockdowns started but I've not seen or heard anything. I'm fully aware that human malware is still a thing and therefore still a reason and excuse to limit the bitrate and therefore bandwidth that gets streamed, but yeah I'm a bit unhappy that some content turn almost unwatchable.

I'm not the only one over here that cares about this correct?
 
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Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
I can't quite compare your test images as I'm on a crappy TN screen. But YT was vexing me since forever as their re-encoding has a habit of lowering the quality of my animations, making them blurry compared to the source file. Also the default recommended quality when viewing the clip tends to be rather mediocre, around 480p. No matter if I upload in 1440p or whatever. I'm not very experienced with these YT things, so there may be something obvious which I'm missing. But it even seems that the highest resolution available after upload can be lower than the source file. This seemed to be happening even before the 2020, though.
 
They tend to do optimization and video quality will suffer a little bit no matter what you do as soon as it's a video on YouTube, but I never had it be this bad as the example image shows, and it's really just a blocky mess. I have old recordings from livestream.com and livestream procaster where the birate was set at something like 1000kb/s and a 720p stream that looked better than this in dark areas.

The only thing I got is that if you want the highest quality video uploads, you should turn your rendering to 4K res just because YouTube will feed a higher bitrate when you select that option in the player, even if the video itself wasn't 4K to begin with(Aka upscaling). But there's some compression no matter what you do. YouTube does have a preferred format if I recall correctly and there's some documentation somewhere that says exactly how to set your output for best quality, like it being an MP4 using X Y Z preferences so I'd suggest taking a look into that as I did the same when I started making more videos for my channel.

Though in this case I've noticed a drastic reduction in the quality of the video stream, and it surely wasn't that shite when the video was originally uploaded, and I have noticed a dip and reduction in overall quality on YouTube since some time after the articles about them lowering quality due to the pandemic and load on the internet.
 

FormerUser

Active Member
Youtube compresses video like hell when it is uploaded, you will always aww a reduction in quality, more so on black backgrounds in videos.

It's not sneaky at all, youtube are perfectly within their right to lower quality to maintain the network stability (admittedly on thousands of server clusters) a video uploaded at 1080 is never 1080 when viewed. Hell even Netflix doesn't show you 1080p/4K content when you ask for it, its usually a little under. If it works, it works, I'm happy to live and move on
 
Youtube compresses video like hell when it is uploaded, you will always aww a reduction in quality, more so on black backgrounds in videos.

It's not sneaky at all, youtube are perfectly within their right to lower quality to maintain the network stability (admittedly on thousands of server clusters) a video uploaded at 1080 is never 1080 when viewed. Hell even Netflix doesn't show you 1080p/4K content when you ask for it, its usually a little under. If it works, it works, I'm happy to live and move on
Yes, I know this, but please read the entire post!
 
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