Vimeo is now following in the footsteps of YouTube and streaming 4K videos

by on January 7, 2015

Stephan Jukic – January 7, 2015

Recently, Vimeo announced that it would be allowing users of their premium service to upload 4K video clips so that others could download them for cached viewing. This was a major change from the site’s previous policy of not allowing 4K uploads at all.

Now however, Vimeo is taking things even further and finally allowing for 4K clips to actually be streamed from their servers to user’s personal computers.

The news that the video sharing site was doing this came out of the blue just a couple of days ago and implementation of the 4K streaming capacity is coming in stages.

Since the trend towards 4K video is basically undeniable and growing quickly, Vimeo’s reasoning for its allowing 4K downloads and now streaming is that the company needs to become a 4K capable platform in order to stay up to date.

Vimeo itself released a statement to the effect that, while 4K source files have “always” been available, the company is now transcoding in 4K resolution videos and allowing downloads of these transcodes so that users who uploaded in 4K will have their videos transcoded into 4K so that all such uploaded videos will be available for on-site playback as soon as it’s enabled.

The main thing to keep in mind here is the fact that all of this will be available WHEN Vimeo enables streaming playback. The specific time for this wasn’t known until now.

The first notice of the newly installed 4K streaming capacity came suddenly a couple days ago when a few videographers uploaded their 4K test footage and noticed suddenly that it was streaming in ultra HD. After some testing back and forth, they were able to report to the internet’s video technology world that Vimeo was now supporting 4K streams out of the blue.

Videos captures on a wide range of affordable 4K recording devices will be finding their way to vimeo subscribers' homes via 4K streaming

Videos captures on a wide range of affordable 4K recording devices will be finding their way to vimeo subscribers’ homes via 4K streaming

According to these videographers, the 4K streaming feature can only be enabled after quite a few specific settings have been put in place (especially setting the preset settings to 4K UHD) and the 4K streaming feature only works on UHD videos that are newly uploaded. Older 4K clips that have already been loaded into the site and set to HD streaming are stuck that way.

Also, they claim that movies which are longer than 3 minutes should be set to lower 60Mbps bitrates for encoding, just to be safe about reducing upload space and transfer time.

Overall, the new 4K streaming policy from Vimeo, which hasn’t even been publicly announced yet, is one more major indicator of how close to the mainstream ultra HD is moving among content providers and platforms.

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