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YouTube adds support for 4K videos

updated 03:20 pm EDT, Fri July 9, 2010

YouTube now supports greater than HD video

YouTube today touted a first in web video as it became the first to support greater-than-HD video. It can now handle movies up to 4K widescreen, or 4096x3072; the resolution is about four times larger than 1080p and is dense enough to remain sharp at distances that would normally be reserved for 4K projectors. It can also handle intermediate steps such as 2K and is invoked just by choosing the original video size.

Playing back video larger than HD needs both a high-speed Internet connection and a fast system. Most computer displays also can't show 4K at its full quality, although higher resolution 27- and 30-inch displays can render 2K. Capturing video is more difficult and will currently be limited to pro-grade cameras such as the RED ONE.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And computers across the world melt down due to Flash and 4k video.

  1. facebook_Clay

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2010



    I can't live unless my phone supports this. In reality, I have to wonder what the purpose of this is. One couldn't see the difference on anything that can be owned for a reasonable cost, so what could it be for? Maybe YouTube is looking at distribution to theaters? I just don't think I need to see videos of people's cats doing tricks in 4K.

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    work on the basics

    Hey youTube! 4K is nice and all, assuming anyone had the 4 monitors tiled together to view such content... but how about working on getting your SD content to play without jitterring. I'd be happy to see your 360p play and look nice before I'd be interested in your 4K. Maybe you should talk to Vimeo too about how to compress you video and not have it look like horse p***

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Really guys, why 4k? So it's more real/life-like. It's the same sort of deal as the iPhone 4. To not see pixelation you need 300+ ppi. If you've seen an iPhone 4, you'll know what I'm talking about. Wow!

    Same is true with video. It's sooo easy to see pixelation with HD. Your typical 24" computer display (1920 pix horiz res) is only about 86 ppi. Even Apple's huge 30" 2560 pix display is only ~91 ppi, and the 27" iMac is ~102 ppi... still a good 200+ ppi short of what the eye can see (at a certain distance). When HD screens get bigger, things go downhill quickly - a 55" (1920x1080) HDTV is going to be hideously low res - around 38 ppi at best. Any bigger than that, and your images start looking like Lego characters.

    Here's the catch... HD content right now fits available displays. We have low res displays and low res content to go with them. But it won't always be that way, and the iMac (at 102 ppi) and the iPhone (at a whopping 326 ppi) are proof that change is coming. The 27" iMac already make 2k content a viewable reality for consumers.

    HDTVs sometime in the future (not soon enough) will be 4096 pix. It is a good investment for content providers to start recording at 4k now. Content can always be down-sampled for Blu-ray or the Internet. 4k is future ready, preserves quality, and digital theatre projection is a reality today.

    I hear you when you say YouTube needs to get the jitters out of even their SD stuff, etc. Ditching Flash would go a long way to improve that. Why does YouTube want 4k? Well, you know they're looking into paid digital distribution, right? I bet they'd love to kick Apple's, Netflix's, Hulu's, and Blu-ray's asses all in one shot... I think SJ is right - Blu-ray is a lame stop-gap measure, and the future is digital distribution. I think this 4k thing with YouTube is evidence of where we're headed.

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