Nov 20, 2008
My Digital Life Editorial Team

How to Embed and Play 720p HD (High Definition) YouTube Videos (&fmt=22 Code Hack)

It’s possible to embed high quality YouTube video clips on external website for direct viewing or playback of visitors. But to many disappointment and dismay, the so called “higher quality” (and declared as HD by many other websites) is simply not good and not high resolution enough. Now, Google has made available YouTube video play back in High Definition (HD) mode of 720p by just adding &fmt=22 to the video URL or link location.

As such, for webmasters and bloggers who embed YouTube hosted videos, now it’s time to start embed a real true HD videos for the real exhilarating enjoyment when watching and viewing the playing video clip.

To embed a HD quality YouTube video with high definition resolution on external website or blog, simply add or append &ap=%2526fmt%3D22 code (instead of &ap=%2526fmt%3D18 to display just higher quality 480×360 video clip) to the end of movie parameter value and embed source in the YouTube embed code. For example, we take a look at original embed code for “Where the Hell is Matt? (2008)” YouTube hosted video clip that available in HD format.

<object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/zlfKdbWwruY&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0″></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/zlfKdbWwruY&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>

By appending &ap=%2526fmt%3D22 HD hack switch, the embed code will become like the following:

<object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/zlfKdbWwruY&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&ap=%2526fmt%3D22“></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/zlfKdbWwruY&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&ap=%2526fmt%3D22” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>

The only caveat emptor is that not all (actually is most) videos uploaded to YouTube is not available in such very high quality HD viewing quality. The uploaded source videos must be encoded in HD quality resolution in order for the YouTube HD trick to work. Good news is that, the HD YouTube appears to have even better picture quality than Vimeo, the first video sharing site to support consumer HD (High Definition) playback, using the 720p resolution at 24 fps (frame per second) Flash video. YouTube plays back 720p HD video using H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec in 1280×720 resolution with high-quality AAC two audio channels stereo sound at 232 kbit/s 44100 Hz monaural (near CD quality).

Note that although YouTube currently has the option to allow users to set YouTube to always play higher quality video when available, it’s not currently support auto play the HD format. It will play video in high quality mode with maximum picture size of 480 x 360 pixels with audio encoded in bit rate of up to 120 kbit/s at 44100 Hz monaural (FM quality).

Take a look at the Matt Dancing video in different YouTube supported resolutions below. Watch and view the video in full screen and listen carefully to the sound effect to get a feel of what HD really means.

Update: Hack to Embed Video Code to AutoPlay in HD


Standard normal quality YouTube video.


High quality YouTube video.


HD (720p high definition) YouTube video.

Tip: HD YouTube supports up to maximum picture size of 1280 x 720. So users can embed the video of bigger size by changing the width and height values in the embed code.

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