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A few things you should know about your favorite video sites.

Posted on 12th August 2008 by Sebastian

Video streaming has become hugely popular online, with tonnes of sites like YouTube, DailyMotion and Viddler serving video for just about every need. As an experienced user of these sites, I have a few tips you might not know of, however.

  1. Fullscreen

    You probably know very well that most video hosts support full-screening videos you’re watching, but are you aware that a few go a bit beyond that? The built-in Flash fullscreen command only lets the window stay fullscreened as long as the window stays in focus — this means that if you have two monitors, you’re forced to not do anything on the other monitor while in fullscreen mode.

    Fret not, however, for a few of the hosts out there have seen that this isn’t too optimal. Here’s how you activate a more permanent fullscreen mode on a few hosts:

    • DailyMotion: Open the video you wish to watch in a window on your other monitor, then click the fullscreen button. The video will automatically fill out the full browser window for you.
    • Viddler: On the old Viddler video player, doubleclicking the fullscreen button, which was in the top right corner of the video, in case you never noticed it, opened up a new fullscreen window. This doesn’t seem to work anymore, but the URL for the window still works: You simply append /fullscreen to the video URL like so:
  2. High quality

    In certain circles, YouTube is slightly infamous for its horrible video quality. What many people don’t know, however, is that it is fairly simple to watch higher quality versions of most videos on there.

    You simply append “&fmt=18” to the end of the video like so:, and voilá, you have a higher quality video to watch (in most cases). Alternatively, if you use Firefox with Greasemonkey, I can highly recommend YouTube High Quality Automatic, which does just what it says in the name.

  3. Feeds

    Most big video sites let you follow a RSS feed of certain users’ videos, or maybe even what’s new and rising. On YouTube it’s a bit harder to find than on most other sites, though — provided you’re not familiar with the “Live Bookmarks” feature that comes with modern browsers. It works the same for YouTube as it does for this site, you simply go to the site you wish to follow, then look in the address bar and you should find an orange feed symbol. (In Internet Explorer 7, you look in the tab toolbar.) Clicking on this should open the feed and let you subscribe or whatever you wish.

    If you’re unable to find this, or perhaps don’t have a browser capable of doing this, YouTube has a page about their RSS feeds.

Those are a few small features I think are too overlooked and I use constantly, so enjoy.

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