Google brings 4K video live streaming to YouTube


While 1080p may look "good enough" to you, once you move to a higher resolution display, it is hard to go back. Prices for both 4K monitors and televisions continue to drop, meaning more and more consumers are buying them. During this past Black Friday, there were many such TVs being offered with big discounts.

Now that there are a healthy amount of these displays in the wild, content creators will be more motivated to release content in that resolution -- movies, TV, and video games. While Google added 4K playback to YouTube years ago, it did not offer live video streaming in that resolution. Today this changes, as the video site finally gets 4K live streaming -- including 360-degree streams. Best of all? Watching the streams won't require Microsoft Edge!


"4K video isn’t just a little different from HD video; it’s a giant leap. It shows 8 MILLION pixels total, with an image that has four times more image definition than even 1080p video. What does this mean in real world terms? Live streams look better, show a more detailed, crisper picture, and aren’t as blurry when there’s fast action on screen. Basically, 4K makes everything better to look at. And because we support 4K at up to 60 frames per second, creators can make content that looks silky smooth, and more realistic than ever before", says Kurt Wilms, Senior Product Manager, YouTube.

ALSO READ: System76 adds 4K display to Ubuntu Linux-powered MacBook Pro competitor Oryx Pro

Wilms further explains, "for creators this means the ability to take advantage of an incredibly clear picture for recorded and now streaming video. It’s the kind of thing that can help to push their hardware (and their talent) to create the most beautiful or just plain crazy-looking images and videos possible. And with 360 4K live streams, the sky is (literally) the limit. Get ready for 360 concert and event streams that look sharper, cleaner, and brighter than ever before".

Keep in mind, 4K streaming means that both the host and the viewers will consume more bandwidth. In other words, while it will look great, it could be a costly affair for those on metered connections or with data caps. Luckily, YouTube will allow the viewer to select a lower resolution in that instance.

Truth be told, I am rather satisfied with 1080p 60fps on YouTube. I am glad to see that Google will allow 4K streaming in 60fps, but there are not many cameras that offer that. If you are a content creator, be mindful of this -- 1080p at 60fps can be a much more pleasurable experience than, say, 4K at 24fps.

Are you excited for 4K live video streams on YouTube? Tell me your opinion in the comments below.

Image Credit: Darren Woolridge / Shutterstock

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