YouTube’s higher-quality videos appear on some Android and Google TV devices

YouTube Premium homepage on Android
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube’s enhanced 1080p video quality with a higher bitrate is exclusive to Premium subscribers.
  • The feature was previously tested on some iOS devices, but it's now expanding to Android and Google TV as well.
  • It's different from the regular 1080p resolution, which is already available to everyone and will remain free for all users.

YouTube is finally pushing enhanced 1080p HD video quality to Premium subscribers on Android and Google TV after being previously exclusive on iOS as part of an earlier test.

A few users took to various online platforms to share their experience with the new premium perk, which promises to deliver a higher bitrate for crisper videos. This comes in handy for media content with a lot of detail and motion.

One user has spotted the YouTube app's new "1080p Premium" tier on their Motorola phone, while others have seen the new feature on their Google TV (via 9to5Google).

YouTube previously tested the higher-quality video option with a small group of YouTube Premium subscribers on iOS. While available to a wider set of users, the latest expansion still locks the nifty feature behind YouTube's paid subscription.

It's important to note that the standard 1080p option remains available to both free and Premium members, contrary to previous rumors that the Google-owned platform was planning to remove the existing 1080p option for free users.

In the long run, YouTube hopes that the increased bitrate will make YouTube Premium a more appealing option for users seeking the best possible viewing experience. 

While the free version of the service already offers 1080p streaming, distinguishing the Premium tier from the free version with higher-quality videos goes a long way toward making the former more attractive to viewers who are interested in crisper videos. They may be more inclined to sign up for YouTube Premium if they know they will have access to enhanced 1080p streaming. 

By charging Premium subscribers for access to enhanced bitrate 1080p streaming, YouTube will generate additional revenue.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.