Google is testing a new 1080p tier with a higher bitrate for some Android and Google TV users as one of the most recent additions to YouTube Premium subscribers.
Back in February, YouTube was spotted trying a new “1080p Premium” level that was elite to YouTube Premium supporters. It was only available on the iPhone and Apple TV at the time. Google made the feature official in April, saying that it would be coming to Android later and that it would deliver 1080p content at a higher bitrate than Apple devices.
Google appears to be testing support further right now.
One Reddit user was able to access the 1080p Premium tier via the YouTube Android TV OS app. The app, which is compatible with Android TV as well as Google TV, displays the standard 1080p option alongside the option labeled “1080p Premium,” with a brief explanation that it provides an “enhanced bitrate.” Users who move up to that tier are prompted, if they haven’t already, to upgrade to YouTube Premium.
In addition, the official Android app enabled 1080p Premium on a Motorola smartphone for at least one Twitter user.
This new 1080p tier is still widely misunderstood as YouTube locking the quality behind a paywall, but that is simply not the case. This is a brand-new, premium-only quality tier for YouTube, not a paid version of the existing quality. The free 1080p tier that is currently in place has not changed.
Notably, it appears that YouTube has rolled out 1080p Premium to a large number of iOS and web users over the past few days.
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