Does YouTube Have it Bigger Than You?


YouTube wants to have it bigger than anyone else, and that is not cool.

Now if you started reading this post with the wrong idea in mind, I am talking about the size of the video player.


If you try to embed a YouTube video on your website, you will notice that the code that they provide both on their website and on the menu options of each video player is something like this:

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

As you can see, the specified width and height for the embedded video player are 425 and 355 respectively. That is a pretty small player, however. On the YouTube website, in fact, the dimensions of the player are 480 (width) and 397 (height).

I don’t know why they offer a smaller size to the general public, but I find it annoying. They must have done some research about the optimal dimension for online video players, and I am sure that it must close to the one they use on their website.

If that is the case, I want to use that same dimensions on my site as well.

Fortunately changing the size of the video player is very easy. You just need to copy and paste the embed code normally, and then change width and height values to whatever you want. Notice that those values appear twice, so change both of the width and height pairs.

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21 Responses to “Does YouTube Have it Bigger Than You?”

  • medyum

    I’m guessing it so that the average Joe can post it on their 450px wide blog without have to mess with code.

  • Matthew Doucette

    Is there a smallest size, or can we make youtube videos so small that we could fit them into header and footer banners? I want to advertise my upcoming video game with my youtube footage in a “video ad” on my own website, and I’m looking for ideas…

  • diy help

    I guess they are trying to be considerate for ppl tht wan2post it on their sites like me, the normal size they provided is ok as it fits perfectly on my blog but well, as you said, the size can be change so it’s not reli a big matter…

  • redwall_hp

    The lack of a full screen button on the embedded player is another head-scratcher…

  • ajay @ readerszone

    is small player some thing to do with the quality of video

  • karthik sridharan

    Changing the value of the video might be easy by changing the width and the height.

    But Daniel Pl tell why they are not providing the “maximize” option when we embed the video in our blog. Some times it is inconvinient for the people like 5 to 6 are viewing the video in one system (it may be a technical discussion).

  • Lex G

    I don’t think that they will send a ‘reduced’ media stream to ‘smaller’ players because that would mean that they’d have to add real-time compression to their stream. I don’t think they have this capability.

    I basically think that they’ve tried to find a ‘one size fits all’ dimension which is still editable if you’d like.


  • Greg from Make Money Online

    That was a great tip. I have often wonder why the size was different.

  • Paula Mooney

    Thanks, Daniel.

    I immediately changed the dimensions of my “Mariah Carey throwing out the first pitch in Tokyo” latest YouTube Video embed to the ones YouTube uses.


  • Jeremy Latham

    I’m guessing it so that the average Joe can post it on their 450px wide blog without have to mess with code.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Inge, I will work on such a post, thanks for the input.

  • Inge Janse

    “Well the post illustrate how the people that want a bigger player can do it anyway 🙂 .”

    Excellent reply. You’re good at criticism. Consider writing something about it, for instance a ‘7 rules of replying to comments’ (and not focusing only on negative comments, but also on how to give follow-ups to comments that say nothing or positive ones).

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Inge, good point.

    Well the post illustrate how the people that want a bigger player can do it anyway 🙂 .

  • Inge Janse

    @ Daniel: I don’t think it’s a matter of surpass, but a matter of minimum threshold. I assume that they have something like a ‘90% of all websites should be able to show this video correctly if embedded’ rule.

    2 embedding codes is arbitrary: what is ‘small’ and what is ‘big’? And, more importantly: how does joe average know if he needs small or big?

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Inge, Denis and Mirki,

    Yes this could be a possible explanation. But I am not sure if the percentage of websites and blogs that can’t fit a 480 width video surpass the number of those who can.

    Also, it would be a good idea if they could offer 2 embedded codes, one with a small video player, and one with a standard (big) one.

  • Ben

    Hmmm, never thought about changing the dimensions on the video player. That should give me something to play with when I get back from vacation.

    Thanks for the tip !!!

  • Mirko

    I’d go with the same answer than Denis, they’ve also done some research on the best size to fit as many blogs as possible. That must be the reason.

  • Denis

    I guess they want their videos fit sites with even relatively narrow columns without any code modification. They can’t predict where you want to insert their code. But they are pretty sure about their own site, so they use the normal sized version of the player there.

    Another guess (very unprobable) is they try to save some bandwidth. They detect that you are using their smaller player and send you reduced media stream.

  • Inge Janse

    The Viper video wordpress plugin allows you to set default sizes for the video you embed. That way, you can a: embed very easy and b: give each embedded video exactly the size you want to use for your weblog.

    Nevertheless, it’s weird that youtube’s own default differs from the one they offer for embedding. Maybe they’ve done research too about the kind of websites that embed video’s, and checked what the lowest border is (which will be lower than their own, since they’re only one website with one fixed width).

  • Victor

    These dimensions make my work easy.
    If it was bigger, My blog would be a mess with videos.
    But I agree with you point of view.

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