I just watched a great Web Video Secrets Podcast presented by Web Video University hosted Dave Kaminski on how to get the highest quality videos on YouTube and on your website.
Dave states that if you are using normal video the best dimensions for uploading to YouTube is to render the video out of your video editing software at a resolution of 640 x 480 or 480 x 360. You used to have to change the embed code in YouTube or else your video would look strange. Now all you have to do is click the little ‘Customize’ icon to the right of the embed code and you will see that YouTube now has 4 different screen size options to choose from. When you select the screen size that works for you, YouTube will automatically change the embed code to the selected screen size.
If you are doing a screen capture video there are many ways to get the highest quality video for YouTube or your website. The easiest way, which is demonstrated by Dave in this podcast, is to change your recording settings in a program like Camtasia to record to a .avi file instead of the default .camrec file. You then want to make sure that you are recording your screen shot video at a screen size of 640 x 480. Once your done recording and editing the video you will need to render it out of Camtasia at a resolution of 640 x 480 as a Windows Media File (.wmv file). After the .wmv is uploaded to YouTube you will need to force YouTube to show a really high quality version of your video by going up to the tool bar where the Youtube web address is and type in this command: &fmt=18 at the end of the address. Then YouTube will magically display the higher quality version of your video but this will not fix the embed code. The get the high quality video version embed code copy and paste the displayed embed code into your blog or website and after the URL to your video but before the ‘&h1’ paste in the following magical command: &ap=%2526fmt%3D18
But wait, you will have to do this twice in the embed code, the first time is for your internet explorer brower and the second time is for Firefox internet explorers. Then you will have the highest quality video for your website or blog posts.
A great lesson in perfecting your web videos! You can learn more about web videos at Web Video University.