Last October, YouTube introduced 60fps playback for HD footage. Gamers loved the feature. Watching a native 60fps video at 60fps is how it was always meant to be.
YouTube isn’t stopping there. They are combining 60fps with the ultra high resolution of 4K.
4K isn’t widespread yet, but it’s good YouTube is jumping on this early. Pretty soon, a lot of people will have 4K screens of some kind. Whether it be desktop monitors or TVs. Testing out the feature now means everything should be running smoothly once adoption of 4K is more widespread.
You will need a couple of things in order to view the handful of 4K videos. First, a display that supports 3840 x 2160. Second, you need a PC with a decent CPU/GPU to handle the increase in resolution.
TechCrunch’s Greg Kumparak tried them out on a brand new Retina iMac and says “they’re mindbendingly beautiful.” Older Apple hardware doesn’t fare so well.
YouTube’s playlist of 4K content has a bit of everything. Want to see how good Star Citizen (space video game) looks? It looks damn good. How about a pyroclastic flow? Check it out below.
When can you start uploading your own 4K/60fps video? You’ll have to wait a bit. Only the videos in this playlist support the 4K/60fps option right now. It looks like YouTube is testing how the video playback works as far as bandwidth goes.
You Have a 4K Screen, But What Can You Watch?
So, you decided to jump into the 4K arena. Now what? You have several options. DirecTV offers several movies in 4K. Some of these include Star Trek (2009), Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Terminal and Forrest Gump.
Love your Netflix? Check out House of Cards, Marco Polo, The Black List, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and more in 4K.
Amazon Instant Video offers some of their original series in 4K as well as about 30 movies including Captain Phillips and The Amazing Spiderman.
4K content and programming is still in its infancy. The best way to experience 4K is through the latest video games. It will still be a while before we see the majority of television content produced in 4K.