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May 17, 2014

YouTube's HTML5 Player Shows Bandwidth Stats

YouTube's HTML5 player has recently added bandwidth stats. Just right click the player and select "stats for nerds". It's fairly easy to tell if you're using the HTML5 player or the Flash player: if you see a menu item called "about the HTML5 player" you're obviously using the HTML5 player. Go to YouTube's HTML5 video page and click "Request the HTML5 player" to enable it for most videos.

"In computer networking and computer science, bandwidth, network bandwidth, data bandwidth, or digital bandwidth is a measurement of bit-rate of available or consumed data communication resources expressed in bits per second or multiples of it," informs Wikipedia.

Bandwidth stats are only displayed in Chrome and they're probably related to the DASH support. YouTube uses adaptive streaming, so that you get the most appropriate video quality for your bandwidth, even if it fluctuates.

Google also has a video quality report page, which shows information about YouTube streaming, including some stats for each major ISP in your area. YouTube used to offer a speed test service, but this is no longer available.

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