In 2010 YouTube enabled support for 4K video uploads but yesterday it announced it opened up 4K live streaming on the platform. Both standard videos and 360 videos will be able to be live streamed in 4K. One of the first live streams to broadcast in 4K is the Game Awards, which kicks off tomorrow at 1:30am GMT.
Facebook Live publishers can stream up to 720p and Periscope also allows for 720p when published through a company like ours but YouTube is the only company offering 4K and for free!
4K video is big leap up from HD video as it shows 8 million pixels total and has four times more image definition than 1080p video. 'Average consumers don’t necessarily care about the specs themselves, but they will be able to appreciate the experience of video that’s more detailed, crisper and less blurry when there’s fast action on the screen' says YouTube.
How will this advancement in live streaming really affect the average UK viewer?
'Whilst streaming in 4K may become all the rage in the corporate world in the future most people are watching live streams on mobile devices using their own mobile data and the extra cost in watching at that quality, if even possible, would munch through their data.' says Tom Sykes from solo16.
In rural areas in the UK where 4G is not available and the broadband infrastructure is not offering fibre connectivity, households will not be able to watch in 4K as it will require a fibre download speed. Most household televisions and office PC screens cannot also currently display a 4K image.
'If using a mobile connection for streaming a multi-cam production in 4K through an Outside Broadcast van like ours the client would be looking at paying approx 4 times the data cost of the traditional 1080HD format. The equipment and production costs would also be considerably higher. It's a very expensive upgrade when most people will not currently appreciate the quality difference on most TV's.' describes Dom our Satellite Engineer.
So whilst the news may benefit very high end broadcasters or those with fibre AND a 4K TV, we think it will be many years before this becomes mainstream.
Find out more about our streaming services here.