While I’m bogged down a bit with my Blu-Ray ripping series—captions are a tough one—here’s another way you can get HD video on your PCs and devices: You can download HD video from YouTube. No, YouTube doesn’t support this directly, but you can do so with a free utility.
In fact, there are probably many utilities that offer this functionality, but I’ve been using YouTube Downloader HD for years, and it works well. And it’s really easy to use: Just find a video you’d like to download to your PC in your web browser of choice—I typically look for long-form HD content, like Rick Steves’ excellent and free travel lecture series—and copy the URL for the video to the clipboard.
Then, launch YouTube Downloader HD and paste that URL into the Video URL text box. In Video Quality, select the highest-quality video you want—I usually go for Full HD (1080p)—since the app will try to grab the best-quality video you request.
After selecting a download location, click Download to begin. If the video isn’t available in the quality you selected, you’ll be prompted to try a lower-quality version. Eventually, it will download to your PC.
From here, you can play the video from any playback application, and copy it to a media server or other device and enjoy it elsewhere, and while offline.