Youtube Users Can Now Live Stream in 4K Resolution, with HDR and 360-degree support

by on December 1, 2016

Stephan Jukic – December 1, 2016

In the aftermath of so many Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales deals, it seems that some companies are definitely expecting to see more shiny, sharp new UHD displays sitting around in peoples’ households. Perhaps in part for this reason, YouTube has decided to let users stream both normal aspect ratio and 360 degree video content in ultra HD live even.

YouTube’s biggest competitor in the live streaming landscape right now is an Amazon-owneed company called Twitch. However, least so far, Twitch lacks the bandwidth infrastructure necessary for letting users conduct live 4K video streams since they require far more Mbps than native Full HD video streams. YouTube doesn’t quite have this same infrastructure problem since it’s a child of bandwidth-invested Google and as such it will be allowing live 4K streaming to at least some of its hundreds of millions of users.

Twitch users are limited to live streams of about 3.5Mbps, and while this is enough for 1080p video feeds, it comes nowhere near the 10 or more Mbps of bandwidth needed for basic compressed 4K streaming. Thus, Google/Youtube has ebaten Twitch to the punch on UHD live streaming and is likely hoping to see more Twitch users shift away from their existence service as a result.

YouTube’s live streaming service, according to the company’s own announcement on the GoogleBlog, will allow for live broadcasting at 60 frames per second in both standard format and 360-degree display formats. This comes just a few weeks after Google also added 4K HDR support to ultra HD videos on YouTube. Content creators with YouTube Channels can start live streaming their 4K HDR video creations already and viewers can also watch them as of now, assuming they own a 4K TV and have enough internet bandwidth coming to their homes for 4K UHD streaming of content.

The new 4K live streaming allows for UHD gamers to stream their moves in live 4K

The new 4K live streaming allows for UHD gamers to stream their moves in live 4K

Google has also live streamed the entire “The Game Awards” show in live 4K with HDR to give a demonstration of what their new 4K live streaming service looks like. This was done today at 8:30pm Eastern Time.

For now, only 4K UHD TVs and a limited range of 4K PC devices can display streamed 4K UHD content and HDR formatting but this will drastically change in 2017 for non-TV display devices, which will increasingly feature 4K resolution.

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