Thumbnail Feedback Is YouTube downscaling 1920x1080 thumbnails to 1280x720?

PhotoJoseph

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Hey folks. I've always uploaded thumbnails at 1920x1080, but have noticed a few times that when viewed large -- like when you load a video and see the thumb for a second or so before the video starts to play, or go to a youtube watch page and the video just doesn't play -- that it may look VERY pixelated.

This got me wondering if it's being downsampled, and I found the following archived thread here on these forums that suggests exactly that:


If you look at the maximum rez thumbail using the URL http://img.youtube.com/vi/videoID/maxresdefault.jpg it always shows 1280x720 so I have to assume that's what's happening. I know I can output a 720 thumb that looks way better than what they are making, so hopefully putting it up at 720 will avoid that and result in better thumbs.

Back to the VERY pixelated view that I recently saw, which I've seen before but is hard to replicate, that looked like this:

unnamed.jpg


I suppose that was something like a 240p view loading but I again wonder if it has anything to do with uploading the "wrong" size in the first place.

If anyone knows with certainty what youtube does or doesn't thumbnails, I'm all ears.

Cheers
-Joseph
 

Andrew

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Hey folks. I've always uploaded thumbnails at 1920x1080, but have noticed a few times that when viewed large -- like when you load a video and see the thumb for a second or so before the video starts to play, or go to a youtube watch page and the video just doesn't play -- that it may look VERY pixelated.

This got me wondering if it's being downsampled, and I found the following archived thread here on these forums that suggests exactly that:


If you look at the maximum rez thumbail using the URL http://img.youtube.com/vi/videoID/maxresdefault.jpg it always shows 1280x720 so I have to assume that's what's happening. I know I can output a 720 thumb that looks way better than what they are making, so hopefully putting it up at 720 will avoid that and result in better thumbs.

Back to the VERY pixelated view that I recently saw, which I've seen before but is hard to replicate, that looked like this:

View attachment 3331

I suppose that was something like a 240p view loading but I again wonder if it has anything to do with uploading the "wrong" size in the first place.

If anyone knows with certainty what youtube does or doesn't thumbnails, I'm all ears.

Cheers
-Joseph
Yes they are, so they do this to save space, and also most people are watching on their phone. About 80% of users, so YouTube is doing this. Most users don't notice, but to answer your question, they are.
 
OP
OP
PhotoJoseph

PhotoJoseph

New User
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Thanks Andrew. Hopefully uploading 720p will stop them from recompressing. Their version looks like . I’ll try 720 next time and then see what happens!
 

Tito Tim

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My template is at 720, I was not sure why. I think I read it somewhere... maybe here?

I still cannot believe so many people watch on a 6" screen. Then again my wife watches on her phone, and does not even rotate it?! She watches on a 3" screen (probably just to drive me crazy ha ha). I will continue to happily use my 27" monitor. Not giant, but better than my phone. (my channel is 40% PC, 35% phone)
 

Beanie Draws

Moderator
Moderator
I think it depends on where they’re displayed. Most areas don’t need to display the thumbs at high resolution, but I’ve found my own thumbnails (i’ve Always published at 1080p) in google image searches, and they’ve always shown at 1080p when looking at full screen. This may have changed this year, but I’m pretty sure mine haven’t been effected by downscaling on google images.
 

People's Bookkeeper

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Hey PhotoJoseph! I was doing 1920 at first, and then I was working my way through the YouTube certifications courses and it specifically states 1280 as the preferred size, so I switched because I had a similar issue to what you are talking about, and I've never had a problem since! I know Nick Nimmin does 1920, saw him comment on it the other day. Perhaps the method used to make the thumbnail also affects things? Hard to say but if you find what works, stick with it my friend!