YouTube Gets 4K Live-Streaming Support for Both Standard and 360-Degree Videos

YouTube Gets 4K Live-Streaming Support for Both Standard and 360-Degree Videos
  • 4K live-streaming available for standard and 360-degree videos
  • Offers "four times" the quality of regular full-HD video
  • The Game Awards 2016 will be live-streamed in 4K on YouTube

After adding support for 4K HDR last month, YouTube is bringing 4K live-streaming to the masses for both standard and 360-degree videos.

“4K video isn’t just a little different from HD video; it’s a giant leap,” YouTube senior product manager Kurt Wilms wrote in an official blog post. “It shows 8 million pixels total, with an image that has four times more image definition than even 1080p video.”

Having four times the quality also means you’ll need a four times faster Internet to broadcast it, too. YouTube advises that 4K at 30fps videos should have a bitrate ranging from 13,000 to 34,000Kbps, which is equivalent to 13-33Mbps as your Internet upload speed. Wilms added that YouTube’s support for 4K at 60fps will be provided for live streams too, and the requirements for that are even higher – at 20,000 to 51,000Kbps (about 20-49Mbps).

As for viewers, fret not. YouTube’s compression technologies will ensure that you’re able to stream 4K video at much lesser Internet download speeds, even while it leads to a drop in quality and artefacts. If you’ve ever experienced YouTube on a 4K TV, you’ll know what we mean.

You can experience the first piece of 4K live-streaming this week itself – starting with The Game Awards 2016 from 9pm EST on Thursday night in the US, which is 7:30am IST on Friday morning in India.


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Further reading: YouTube, live streaming, 4K
Akhil Arora
Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil ...More
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