Google is testing a new video format on YouTube, dubbed ‘1080p Premium’, and is offering enhanced bitrate for its premium users.
A Reddit user has spotted the 1080p Premium video quality option on mobile.
As you can see from the screenshot, the option sits just above the regular 1080p streaming option. And it appears to be available only for YouTube Premium users.
YouTube has confirmed to The Verge that it is in fact, working on a higher-quality 1080p stream for Premium users. The feature is available to “a small group of YouTube Premium subscribers,” according to a spokesperson for the company.
“1080p Premium is an enhanced bitrate version of 1080p which provides more information per pixel that results in a higher quality viewing experience,” the company spokesperson added. He added, “there are no changes to the existing quality offerings for 1080p (HD) resolution on YouTube.”
There have been concerns that the company might be nerfing the existing 1080p streams, but the company has confirmed that the current 1080p streaming remains untouched while the company works on bringing higher quality 1080p streams.
While the new Premium 1080p follows the same resolution as the existing 1080p stream, a higher bitrate adds to the colour depth and other factors, and it can even make the Premium 1080p Video look even better than 2K streams.
Usually, videos encoded in higher bitrates look better than lower-bitrate videos.
A Reddit user posted a screenshot of stats for nerds for the higher bitrate video. It can be seen that the Premium 1080p ran at 13Mbps while the normal 1080p ran at 8Mbps for the same video.
Last year, YouTube was caught testing a different feature with which it limited access to higher resolutions of 4K to Premium users. This seems to follow that path, limiting higher-quality video streams for paying users.