YouTube is among one of the most popular sites to visit, alongside Google, Facebook, and plenty more. Ever since it was launched, its popularity has increased so much that it’s rather hard to think that YouTube will ever go under. As such, practically everyone uses YouTube to watch their favorite videos as well as recommended viral ones.
However, in case you’ve noticed, there’s a small issue that tends to get in the way if you’re using a powerful computer: the videos tend to only start up in 360p resolution, which is even lower than a regular TV signal before HD channels came out. There are smart people out there, so there must be a fix for this!
About Auto HD for YouTube
Auto HD for YouTube is an extension for the Chrome browser which detects when you’re watching a YouTube video and automatically sets the resolution to whatever you prefer. The extension is extremely lightweight and shouldn’t slow down the browser whatsoever, so it’s a great extension to add if you find it useful. Please note that this extension is only functional for YouTube videos, so all other video streaming services won’t benefit from this extension.
The extension’s lightweight qualities come from the fact that the extension barely has any settings for you to configure. In fact, there are only two different preferences you can set. The first is the desired resolution, which you can set to whatever you’d wish. The possible options include 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, and 1080p, where 720p is HD quality and 1080p is Full HD quality.
If, for example, you choose 1080p but a video’s highest resolution is only 720p, it will automatically choose that instead. People who use 240p shouldn’t have an issue because all videos are available in that resolution. Please take your system’s hardware into utmost consideration, as the amount of muscle power needed to play each resolution of the video directly correlates to the resolution that you choose.
Therefore, 1080p videos will require the most muscle power from your CPU and GPU. As a reference, a good dual-core CPU and a mid-range GPU are acceptable for 720p, while a high powered dual-core or lower-powered quad-core CPU should be decent for 1080p. This extension can also be extremely useful for very low-end machines such as under-powered netbooks, where you can choose 240p to prevent as much strain on the system as possible.
The second option allows you to choose between normal view and wide video, which essentially allows you to choose whether the video should be displayed in its original size (where recommended videos are shown to the right of it, independent of what the chosen resolution is), and a bigger size in which it takes up most of the width of the page. This size allows you to see the higher resolution better, if you chose one in the previous setting. I would recommend changing it to wide only if you selected 720p or 1080p, otherwise it will be a bit useless to change it. I definitely recommend keeping it at normal size if you’re using an under-powered machine.
You can install the extension by searching for “auto hd for youtube” on the Chrome Web Store, or you can follow this link and simply hit the Install button. In no time at all, it should be downloaded and installed. You can change its settings by clicking on its button and tweaking the items on the popup.
Although it is extremely simple and for a specific purpose, I am very glad that Auto HD for YouTube exists because I get frustrated whenever I have to click on every new video to change its resolution to the highest available one. I’m sure that there are many of you who would benefit greatly from this small but useful extension. Go ahead and try it out, as it won’t hurt your browser’s performance!
What other small but nifty extensions do you use? Which browser do you believe has the most of these? Let us know in the comments!