Youtube has blown up in terms of the quantity and quality of videos that are uploaded to the website. While Youtube supports 4K video, most of us have screens that can only support 1080p, and 720p on older machines. However, you might find that playing high resolution video on Youtube causes the videos to stutter, as your underpowered GPU is not able to handle the high resolution video. Well, it turns out that you can do something to fix that without having to mess with the hardware.
The problem with Youtube videos is that they request VP9 video instead of H.264. What this means is that while your videos will start instantly and buffer more quickly, they will probably not be optimized for your computer’s hardware. While most computers support hardware acceleration for H.264 video, almost no computer supports hardware acceleration for VP9. Hence, your CPU has to do the extra work to decode Youtube videos. That can be fixed by forcing youtube videos to be H.264 encoded. This makes it easy for your hardware to handle Youtube videos, and removes stuttering even at higher resolutions.
All you have to do is download this extension from the store, and let it install on Chrome. This extension, called h264ify, automatically forces Youtube videos to be H.264 encoded, so that they can be handled more easily by your hardware.
When you click on the given download link, you will be taken to this page on the Chrome Web Store.
Just click on ‘Add to Chrome’ on the top right corner of the screen. In the next pop-up window that appears, click on ‘Add extension’.
The extension will be installed and running automatically. There’s nothing more that you have to do. h264ify will do it’s work to force Youtube videos in H.264, and you can enjoy a much smoother and clearer Youtube experience.