YouTube’s enhanced 1080p video now available on more devices

Settings screen showing increased bitrate in the YouTube app on an Android phone.
Phil Nickinson/

Although it’s not unheard of, it was a little strange for iOS devices to get first dibs when YouTube introduced 1080p “premium” video. But all is right with the world now — “We heard our users loud and clear,” YouTube says — because YouTube Premium subscribers can now enjoy better-looking videos on Android devices, smart TVs, and web browsers. .

YouTube announced additional tools today on its official YouTube blog.

You still don’t have to do anything manually to take advantage of the increased bitrate, save spending a few bucks every month. Right now — and after a price increase in mid-2023 — it’s $14 for an individual account, or $23 for family plans that can benefit up to six accounts. Otherwise, it will work automatically if your network connection is good enough and your viewing settings are locked to some low-resolution.

Of course the increased 1080p bitrate isn’t the only thing you’ll get with YouTube Premium. The biggest selling point is still the YouTube experience without ads before and during videos. (Of course, they can’t do anything about creators creating their own ads.) And you’ll avoid display ads, too. You’ll have the ability to download videos for offline viewing, play YouTube in the background, pick up where you left off (now also available on Smart TVs and tablets – use “Premium Controls” which gives you even more control. Offers, and picture-in-picture support, just to name a few.

And another big sweet thing: You’ll also get access to YouTube Music Premium, which can save you from paying separately for something like Spotify or Apple Music if you want to cut down on the subscription and save a few bucks.

Is the upgraded 1080p bitrate worth paying for? Maybe not on your own. (And you can certainly argue that maybe YouTube shouldn’t lower its playback quality, but that’s another post for another time.)

But take advantage of the better bitrate along with all the other benefits that come with YouTube Premium? It’s a slightly less painful subscription pill to swallow.

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