YouTube enhances live streaming with 4K video support

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4K video began to pick up steam in 2010 when YouTube introduced support for the resolution, save for the live streaming service. That changes now with the addition of 4K support for both standard and 360-degree YouTube Live videos.

Adding 4K support to its live-streaming service marks a big leap for YouTube from its traditional blurry live videos. In announcing the 4K live streaming service, Kurt Wilms, senior product manager at YouTube, noted that 4K video displays a total of eight million pixels onscreen and boasts four times more image definition than 1080p videos.

“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.”

With the wide adoption of 1080p videos right now, consumers generally might not take the time to bother about video specs themselves, but they sure will take pleasure in the more detailed and crisper 4K video experience.

On December 1, the Game Awards demonstrated for the first time how 4K video works on the live coverage of its event. Specifically, YouTube noted that its live streaming service is now clocked at 60 fps, an offshoot of the video-sharing service’s experimentation with ultra high definition and ultra-smooth video playback in March of last year.

An edge over Facebook Live and Periscope

YouTube’s move to bring 4K live streaming to its service could give it an advantage in a fast-rising market where Facebook and Periscope continue to take charge. At present, Facebook Live and Periscope allow publishers to stream videos up to 720p at 30 fps only. As YouTube’s 4K live streaming can be viewed on any device that supports 4K video, the addition of the ultra high-definition feature will expand YouTube Live’s reach to more consumers.

Last month has been quite a busy one for YouTube: The company also added support for High Dynamic Range videos and introduced an enhancement to virtual reality content.

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