h264ify Forces Youtube to Play Videos in H.264

Youtube plays all the videos in VP8/VP9  codecs by default. h264ify is a Chrome extension that forces Youtube to stream your videos in the H.264 format for better performance and reduced resource and battery usage.



H.264 or MPEG-4 Part 10, Advanced Video Coding (MPEG-4 AVC) is a video coding format that is currently one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of video content.

Head to the Wikipedia page for more technical details on the codec. One tidbit I found interesting: this is the encoding that Apple uses for their Quicktime player.

With more than 24 thousand installations, there are lots of fans for this extension. The official description of the extension claims a lot of improvements in performance and resource usage. Here is the official lit:

Try h264ify if YouTube videos stutter, take up too much CPU, eat battery life, or make your laptop hot.

By default, YouTube streams VP8/VP9 encoded video. However, this can cause problems with less powerful machines because VP8/VP9 is not typically hardware accelerated.

In contrast, H.264 is commonly hardware accelerated by GPUs, which usually means smoother video playback and reduced CPU usage. h264ify makes YouTube stream H.264 videos instead of VP8/VP9 videos.

Go ahead and try this extension and let me know how it goes! (A must try if you are using a Chromebook!)

One response

  1. Appears to work well! For once now, the video I want to watch streams as smooth as the ad the comes before it!

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