YouTube is no small matter to the success of Google. Beyond the ability to integrate video with numerous other Google services (e.g., the recent adaptation of embedded YouTube videos for Google Instant Preview), Google has access to the largest video platform in the world. But YouTube isn't the safe leader, nor is it perfect. Google is constantly fighting against litigation and for licensing, and they must simultaneously add enough features to keep hold of the video-watching population. Their two most recent feature additions are the HD video preview images and the logoless embedded player.
The HD video preview image will pull the HD version of a snapshot as the image to display for your video preview. This feature is available on new videos of 480p or higher resolution. Those who already have HD videos for which they want an HD image preview will just have to wait a bit; Google is rolling out HD previews to existing videos in the next few weeks.
The logoless embedded player will give users the option to embed videos in their page without the YouTube logo that usually sits comfortably in the lower-right corner. To make any video player logoless, simply add the code "? modestbranding=1″ at the end of the embed code. This doesn't remove the logo that appears in the top-right when videos are paused, however.
The first adaptation (HD preview images) just makes sense in appealing to users and video uploaders alike. However, the logoless player is a generous move on Google's part. Few companies are willing to part with their branding so readily.