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YouTube announced in a blog post today that they are changing the default embed size for videos on YouTube.  Before today, the default embed size used to be smaller than the size displayed on YouTube.com. That is all about to change. YouTube has now changed the default to a larger size, the same size as the one that’s on YouTube.com. The new default sizes are either 480×385 (4:3) or 640×385 (16:9). Of course the default depends on the size of the video and how it was recorded and encoded.

According to YouTube, these new defaults were selected because they will give the majority of people the best possible viewing experience and because they better match their current video encoding sizes. That makes sense to me. After all, YouTube should want to make the YouTube viewing experience as seamless as can be both on and off of the site.

Below are the new options you have for the embedded player:

  • The color and size
  • Whether or not to include related videos
  • Whether or not to display the player border
  • Whether or not to play in HD by default — triggers video resolutions of 1280×720 (720p) or 1920×1080 (1080p)

YouTube recommends when using the “Play in HD” option to embed the player at a very large size (at least 1280×745) in order to accommodate the large size of the video, otherwise the video will have to be scaled down on a smaller player which will eat up more CPU and could cause choppy video playback.

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