Friday, December 9, 2022


How to watch YouTube videos using very little bandwidth


By Chuck Woodbury
We often show you videos here on There is so much great information that we need to share with you. And, of course, we produce videos for our YouTube RV Travel Channel and hold an occasional live video chat.

Alas, many of you are on the road with limited data plans, so you must be very selective with what you watch. If not, your monthly data bill could get expensive.

Here’s a tip about how to watch many more videos on your computer without using much bandwidth. NOTE: THIS MAY NOT WORK ON SOME MOBILE DEVICES

First, do you see the little gear near the bottom right of the photo below? Go ahead and click it on the next video you watch (not here: this is not a video just a screen shot).

You’ll notice a number of options including one called Quality. Click on that.

Most videos are recorded at 1080p or 720p, which is considered high definition. If bandwidth is no issue, and the video is available in either of those sizes, choose either option for the best quality. The picture will be clear and look great.

But if you don’t care about how pretty the video is, but primarily about the information, then lower the resolution, which is what you will see after you click on Quality.

The highest resolution on this particular video is 480p, which is standard definition. So while watching on that setting will not be a terrible data hog, if you want use far less bandwidth choose 144p instead. The video will look fuzzy, but it will still be fine if information is more important than how pretty the picture is.

You can change your YouTube preferences to always play videos at a low definition. But short of doing that, you can always lower the resolution of an individual video by following the simple steps I’ve described here.

Also, you will notice in the photo to the left above an option called “Playback speed.” Go ahead and select a faster speed if you wish, which will cut down the time needed to watch the video. The voices will be speeded up, but they don’t sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Here’s a video from our channel which you can use to see how this actually works. Click on the video to see the controls.

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2 years ago

Wow!!!! Thanks for this info!!!

Don France
2 years ago

Controls are not there on iPhone! You must go to YouTube app to “fix”…

Nancy Logan
2 years ago

Thank you for posting this. Seems like after many years of using technology, there is more I don’t know than I do. Very helpful information.

Ray Cordero
2 years ago

In addition, keep an eye on your selection after you have watched some videos. At least once a day, it changes to HD on my laptop.

3 years ago

Drop below 480 and you can forget about reading anything on the video

Ray Jones
3 years ago

One other thing that you can do – if you are using a computer to watch your videos….. is to find, download and install a program named “Clipgrab.” I use it all of the time to capture various videos – mostly music and some informational videos. I know it is available for Windows and Linux (I use Linux Mint for my choice of Operating System.) You have the ability to download videos for later viewing if that is what you want to do.

3 years ago

Thank you for the youtube info. I appreciate the information that you provide about the RV life. It gives me a heads-up about what I’ll be getting into when I eventually get around to RVing.

Dave S
3 years ago

Thank you for the YouTube info. I didn’t know about the playback speed. I like it speeded up because many times people speak too slow or tend to repeat themselves. Keep up the good work!

3 years ago
Reply to  Dave S

I’m with Dave keep up the good work. I’m not aware of too many honest people selling RV. I really appreciate your column. Thank You

Jim Timley
3 years ago

arata you must work for the crap RV industry. Thats the only reason you would say what you did.

Tim Ecklund
3 years ago

Sorry arata but he’s not negative he is informative and I don’t know anything about you but you must understand people like you are the reason the RV industry is turning out crap to consumers. Our founding fathers were negative on England and because of that we have a free nation.

Dale Watkins
3 years ago

So Chuck, I’m using an iPhone and I don’t see the controls you’re talking about. Help.

Steve Kniceley
3 years ago
Reply to  Dale Watkins

I’m on my iPhone & don’t see the controls.

Marty Mapson
3 years ago
Reply to  Dale Watkins

On my iPhone I click on the three dots. There you will find the’quality’choice.

Nikki Harnish
3 years ago
Reply to  Marty Mapson

Where are the 3 dots?

Peter C McDonald
3 years ago

Thanks for the information! This is helpful!

Larry coker
3 years ago

I can’t find it on my I fone either

Marty Mapson
3 years ago
Reply to  Larry coker

On my iPhone I click on the three dots. There you will find the’quality’choice.