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This article was published on August 4, 2019

YouTube Premium is rolling out 1080p video downloads

For all the pixel-peepers

YouTube Premium is rolling out 1080p video downloads
Napier Lopez
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Napier Lopez

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Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are happy to watch videos at 480P and those who will fight for every last pixel. If you’re in the latter camp, I have some good news for you: YouTube will now allow you to download videos for offline viewing in 1080p.

Android Police first spotted the update, and the company confirmed to multiple sources that the feature is rolling out to “most Premium markets,” with more to come.

Until now, YouTube has limited downloads to 720p. While not the worst thing in the world – especially considering downloads are only available on mobile devices – it’s not up to snuff for most flagship phone screens, let alone an Android or iOS tablet. This is made worse due to compression artifacts; you might technically be watching a 720p video, but the effective resolution of highly compressed video is lower.

1080p should be a significant upgrade for mobile devices with high-resolution displays, though it will obviously take a greater toll on your storage. And as before, you’ll need to have a YouTube Premium subscription to download videos in the first place.

The feature appears to be rolling out slowly, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see it on your device yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Of course, for some of us, 1080p won’t be enough; I’ll be truly impressed when I can watch 8K on my 6-inch phone screen, thank you very much.

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