YouTube started encoding videos in VP9 codec (Buffer Free) comparing to H.264
Have you noticed a changed in your viewing experience when watching YouTube videos? Well if yes that is because YouTube has started encoding videos using the new open-source codec VP9. Which brings HD and even 4K (2160p) quality at half the bandwidth used by other codecs like H.264.
YouTube said “VP9 is the most efficient video compression codec in widespread use today. In the last year alone, YouTube users have already watched more than 25 billion hours of VP9 video, billions of which would not have been played in HD without VP9’s bandwidth benefits. And with more of our device partners adopting VP9, we wanted to give you a primer on the technology.”
if occasionally having a limited data connection and watching video play only upto 480p. with the new codec users can play a 720p very smoothly.
Check out this video that is encoded using the Vp9
SOURCE : YOUTUBE ENGINEER