How To: Set HD as the Default in YouTube using Auto HD for YouTube
If you have a half decent monitor and like the occasional session on YouTube, you probably prefer to view the highest possible clip resolution. Ever since YouTube incorporated HD clips into its platform a few years ago, there has been an influx of high-resolution content available there.
The problem is, especially if you watch a high volume of clips, the default version to load is always the lowest quality one, forcing you to manually select the high-def variant yourself using the quality toggle button. This cannot be overidden in your account settings, and can get tiresome on long "YouTube days".
Fortunately, for the click-shy YouTube junkies amongst us, there is a Google Chrome extension available that has a solution to your plight. Once installed, this force-loads the highest quality rendition of any YouTube clip you access, meaning much less frantic clicking around each time you select something to watch.
Auto HD for YouTube is an extension for the Google Chrome browser, so you must be running this before you can add the extension. If you haven't already upgraded to this revolutionary browser, follow the related download link for this article to grab the installer.
Once Google Chrome is running and you're using it to read this article, click the Auto HD for YouTube link in the related downloads area and then choose Download. Click Install to authorise the extension to add itself to your base Google Chrome installation and access your data (this is a standard warning for all Chrome extensions).
Once Auto HD for YouTube is installed, its minimalist functionality is available by clicking the small HD icon to the right of the address bar in Chrome, alongside any other extensions you have installed. Click this to open the Auto HD for YouTube preferences.
In the Player panel, specify the resolution you prefer to watch YouTube videos in using the Auto HD dropdown list. The values are shown in descending order, e.g. with the highest resolution (1080p) at the top and the lowest (240p) at the bottom.
The Auto-Size feature is a nifty enhancement within Auto HD for YouTube. Select Wide and it will open all videos on YouTube in a special theatrical mode, widened and with the sides greyed out for enhanced viewing pleasure. The Wide setting is recommended, but you can deactivate it by selecting Normal.
Next, access www.youtube.com and search for any video. The best acid test is to choose a video that is likely to be available in your preferred rendition. Click the video to start playing it, then select the quality toggle button (the cog icon underneath the video) - it should be automatically set to the resolution you specified in the Auto HD for YouTube preferences.
Tips & Advice
- Auto HD for YouTube has a few other tricks up its sleeve. In the preferences menu, note the "Show Auto Replay Button" checkbox. If this is checked, then the Auto Replay Button appears whenever you are watching a video. Clicking it sets the auto-replay to x2, and subsequent clicks increase this to x5, x10 and Unlimited. Great if you never tire of watching the same video over and over again!