YouTube debuts 4K streaming video

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Yeah, 1080p - like its 720p predecessor - was cool back in the day. But now Google has taken YouTube to the next level with a full 4K of HD video goodness.

"At 4096 x 2304 pixels, 4K is over four times the size of 1080p," YouTube engineer Ramesh Sarukkai explained in a blog post.

"[Now], to give some perspective on the size of 4K, the ideal screen size for a 4K video is 25 feet; IMAX movies are projected through two 2k resolution projectors."

Yes, indeed, 4K certainly sounds promising. But how many ultra-HD, 4K videos are actually available on YouTube?

Well, not very many. Currently, there seems to be a total of 5 video clips listed on YouTube’s "4k Resolution playlist," including:

  • Life in the garden
  • Surf NYC
  • 2nd movement for violin
  • Lupe
  • Secret World

The lack of 4K clips is certainly not surprising, because as Sarukkai notes, video cameras that shoot in the required format are far from cheap, typically take up as much room as a small refrigerator and require an ultra-fast broadband connection.

So, if 4K doesn’t hold much interest, you may want to check out YouTube’s recently introduced "Leanback" feature, which allows viewers to watch hours of uninterrupted streaming video - without clicking, searching, or browsing. 

With Leanback, videos tailored to your specific interests play as soon as you visit the site: they stream in full screen and high definition, continuously.

Might be worth a quick peek!