Hitbox to make livestreamed game content on the web look a lot sharper with 4K
Stephan Jukic – June 17, 2015
Hitbox, the live streaming and communications platform for gamers and the gaming industry as a whole is about to really make online game content look a whole lot more crisp thanks to its latest plans to activate full ultra HD 4K resolution.
According to a report from Venturebeat, the 4K option on Hitbox will be available to users later in 2015 and will mean the beaming of game streams at 5 times the resolution of normal 1080p Full HD to those of us who actually have PCs capable of viewing UHD content on their screens.
Hitbox is also going to make sure that these upcoming 4K streams aren’t anything slow and choppy. They will be available not only in 4K but in 4K at a full 60 frames per second. In essence, all of this means that those who do have the right kind of internet connection and a 4K monitor for their PC, or a 4K TV with full web connectivity will be able to run their games at maximal settings and smoothness. Thus, Hitbox has just stuck yet another 4K content option onto the menus of ultra HD adapters with 4K PCs, TVs and smart screens.
Furthermore, the new project from Hitbox offers yet another way by which livestreaming gamers can stand out.
Ultra HD PC gaming is still in its early development stages but it has definitely gotten much easier to manage during the last year. New generations of ultra-powerful graphics processing units have emerged from sources like Nvidia and AMD whose express design parameters are geared straight at making gaming in 4K at high frame rates a real and easy thing, while 4K PC monitors have proliferated dramatically at ever lower prices and increasingly fine-tuned ultra HD specs.
Nonetheless, the actual process of sharing and viewing content from the web from a PC in full 4K and at 60 fps instead of the much slower 20 to 30 fps has been a problem up to now and remains so for many applications. YouTube only recently started offering its own 4K videos in 4K at 60 frames and Htibox competitor Twitch is also technically able to produce 4K video at 60 fps. However, the numerous issues that still surround delivering this kind of video across a web-based stream have done a lot to turn many broadcasters off from taking 4K streams too seriously, so far.
The biggest bottleneck for online 4K streams at high frame rates remains the bandwidth issue and moving a UHD video at 60 fps from source to user screen across an ISP connection usually requires well above 7000 Kbps and can go beyond even 10,000 Kbps. This is problematic not only for many internet connections, it also creates hurdles for many online broadcasters who could be considered “abusive” for letting thousands of different users get their videos at such a massive bandwidth.
Nonetheless, Hitbox isn’t concerned and wants to bring streaming quality to whole new levels according to the company’s CEO, Mike Klimscha, who wants to see Hitbox become a full-fledged early adapter.
For now, many people won’t even pay much attention to the new 4K streaming option. Few users have the type of internet connection necessary to handle it and even fewer potential customers actually own 4K monitors and PCs or GPUs that can handle UHD video at 60 frames per second, but this will definitely change as the year progresses and 4K PC ownership, along with 4K TV ownership are both growing rapidly while new truly 4K-oreinted PCs emerge.
Story by 4k.com