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Watch movies and TV shows in HD or UHD

All of YouTube's movies and TV shows are available in standard definition (SD), while select titles are available in high definition (HD) or 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD). We offer HD and UHD playback in accordance with our Studio licensing agreements, which determine if HD or UHD playback is available on a given device. We're working hard to expand our offering of HD and UHD titles across your favorite devices.

What is HD?

HD (or High Definition) refers to higher quality video than SD (or Standard Definition). On YouTube, HD indicates that a video has between 720 and 1080 lines of vertical resolution (shown as 720p or 1080p in the quality settings of the YouTube player) compared to 360 or 480, which are typical for SD. This means that the picture will be sharper than SD.

What is UHD?

4K UHD (or Ultra High Definition) refers to a higher quality of video than HD. On YouTube, UHD indicates that a video has between 2160 and 3840 lines of vertical resolution (compared to 720 or 1080, which are typical for HD). This means that the picture will be sharper than HD. You can see video quality details within the YouTube video player. 

How to watch HD videos on YouTube

If a video is available in HD, you can select Settings  in the menu bar at the bottom of the web player (computer) or More  on your mobile device, and change the quality to 720p. Some titles may also have a 1080p option. If a title is not available in HD, your video will play in SD instead.

HD will always be available to watch on:

Note: In certain cases, you may be able to buy or rent the HD version of a video on a device or web browser that doesn't support HD playback. HD playback is only guaranteed on the devices listed above. If you have purchased a title to watch in HD and your device is not compatible, you will still be able to watch the title in SD quality.

How to watch 4K UHD videos on YouTube

You can currently watch purchased 4K UHD quality movies using Chromecast Ultra (with 4K displays capable of HDCP 2.2). If you have purchased a title to watch in 4K UHD and your device is not compatible, you will still be able to watch the title in HD or SD quality.


Please be aware that UHD playback requires a faster internet connection than HD or SD videos as YouTube needs to stream much more data.  To stream UHD titles, you’ll need a consistent download speed of at least 15 megabits per second. Without strong bandwidth, your movie may play in HD or SD quality.  

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