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

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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
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