YouTube loves 4K resolution and its 60fps Video will crush your computer

by on March 30, 2015

Stephan Jukic – March 30, 2015

Unless you really have a kickass 4K PC that is.. Google’s service YouTube has been a pioneer of 4K video streaming since long before just about anyone else even had a notion of what the technology was and now they’re continuing in the same vein with the latest twist to the selection of ultra HD content they offer on their vast website.

First, the video streaming service started streaming 4K video clips long before the rest of the herd by posting the first of these videos all the way back in 2010 (according to some reports). Later, the people at YouTube also allowed a much broader library of 4K content to develop thanks to numerous professional and amateur content submissions from all over the world, leading up to them now having the largest free library of 4K content on the web today.

Now, as part of a tactic also applied to its HD video selections, YouTube 4k is also letting its account holders upload 4K UHD video clips at a much heftier 60 frames per second instead of the previous frame rate of 30fps.

Uploading HD video at 60 fps is something that the website has allowed for 6 months so far and it was definitely overdue, given that truly smooth motion and rendering only really happen at frame rates above 45 to 50fps. However, the sudden policy of also allowing these frame rates for the 4K content that has also always only been uploadable at no more than 15 to 30 fps is an impressive new milestone.

So far, the 4K clips that are available at the full 60fps only consist of some 6 different videos and they’re available at this frame rate in 2K 1440p (2560 x 1440) and the full 4K UHD 2160p resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

This transition to 4K videos at 60fps is important because it’s yet another stepping stone in the direction of the 4K revolution. It’s also important because while people who have a 4K TV (which by default plays UHD content at above 60fps) can watch content at high frame rates, those who own 4K PCs and monitors have often been limited to small 30fps selections of ultra HD video. Now this is going to slowly change and full blown entertainment content in 4K will eventually be available thanks to YouTube’s codec and data processing pipeline being able to handle this much higher, more bandwidth intensive new frame rate.

There are however still problems to be worked out on the consumer end of viewing these 4K videos. For most of you, even those who actually own a 4K PC, the new video sizes will simply crush your computers with their demands. 4K video at any frame rate is not easy to view or stream in all but PCs with the best video cards and internet connections.

In order to see these clips, your PC will not only need a 4K monitor but will also have to have the processing kick necessary to handle the massive resolution and speed at which it plays. This means a serious GPU like the Nvidia Titan G and a CPU that can also handle a lot of heavy lifting. Furthermore, a 4K monitor with G-Synch technology enabled on it would be a major bonus.

And finally, even if you do have the hardware ready, you’re not going to be able to stream any of this video at anything close to its full smooth 60fps unless your PC is hooked up to an internet connection of 25Mbps…

Nonetheless, all of these factors are just early technical problems. The era of 4K video is here and its developing all around us.

Here are some 4K UHD videos on YouTube if you’re interested in watching it. Here are just a few at 60 fps.

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  • Brickell Princess
    March 31, 2015 at 11:06 am



  • spazzdla
    March 31, 2015 at 9:50 am

    4k!!! Alas all good points you are going to need some beastly stuff.


  • Krish Narayan
    April 3, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Have 4k tv and just watched Interstellar on ULTRAFLIX an all 4 k streaming network .What a movies and the details were awesome just have 10 Mbps service never needed to upgrade


  • Beggy
    October 29, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Actually, there are plenty of people who would argue that 24/25 fps looks a lot better than 50/60fps. This depends on the camera shutter time but if this is appropriate (180 degrees of frame rate) it provides the motion blur we are used to from 100 years of film. 50/60 is great for sports as it has less motion blur and more information but it tends to give that oversharpened, sometimes strobe-y look which can look cheap and nasty, like a TV soap. Now, some people who have their prime experience of moving images from computer games prefer the faster frame rates but for the rest of us used to the cinema, 50/60 can look terrible. Don’t assume that more is better, in many cases it isn’t. For VR, gaming and 360 video a faster frame rate allows the scene to keep up with the viewer but if you are watching narrative cinema type stuff, the dreamy feel given by the motion blur is beautiful.


    • Stephen
      October 29, 2015 at 7:47 am

      I would have to agree on this. Having observed both effects in different settings. The effect of 24fps is a definite winner in many cinematic contexts. Maximal clarity isn’t always ideal simply because it offers excellent sharpness. Maybe an artistic analogy works well here: Ultra-realist painting offers perfect detail with a brush but the dreamy blurriness of a Van Gogh inspires more appreciation for many viewers.

      That said, having the option of both frame rates is always ideal because a user might want to both enjoy high fps gaming and watch an old movie on their 4k TV or monitor.


  • Babaluba
    November 30, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Ugh, 4k is such a pointless waste. The emperor wears no clothes.


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