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After YouTube made changes which make 1080p saving impossible using the older conventional add-ons, a whole bunch of fake (and not free) programs started to be advertised which claim full 1080p support. But, they only download the 720p stream, and upconvert it. Many people fall for those and pay for them to get 1080p support back. They may get a 1080p file, but it's simply upscaled from the 720p YouTube download. It's not the actual 1080p YouTube stream.
Complete YouTube saver is free and works... it downloads the actual 1080p stream. As far as I know, the streams are unencrypted, they are just separate video and audio streams now, which is why older add-ons no longer work. Complete YouTube saver automatically downloads both streams and muxes them using FFmpeg. Don't worry, there's nothing complex or anything involved... FFmpeg is a simple executable, and Complete YouTube saver runs it automatically in the background. You don't have to specify anything other than you want to download and save the 1080p stream, and you will get a .mp4 h264 file with video and audio automatically. There is no upconverting, and muxing is not memory or processing intense; it should work just fine even on an old PIII.
When YouTube starts to encrypt the streams (RTMPE), which I suspect they will some day, then we're in a whole new boat of screwed.
Thanks for the nice review and overview, we do appreciate when someone sees the value given away here for free.
As for your "boat", we believe it would be rather impractical for them to resort to such dramatic solutions for many reasons - even then, they certainly do not need more ideas to make things more difficult for us, download folks. Thanks again!