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YouTube Goes 4K – Why?

REDformats Here’s one to file under the “Why the hell would you ever want to do that?”

According to this blog post YouTube are now offering a 4K streaming service. There are a selection of clips to view here.

Now before you all go rushing off to view them, I feel I should make a couple of observations. Firstly, Have you got you 4K monitor to hand? No? You surprise me. Well, you don’t to be honest because I’m not actually sure that there are any domestically available 4K display devices on the market.

Secondly, this video is very heavily compressed. Let’s do some quick maths:

4K video 4096×2304 = 6Gbps (approximately, dependent on frame rate)

Data rate of YouTube 4K video: 3.68 Mbps (I downloaded this video and checked the data rate in QuickTime, not massively accurate I’d agree, but good enoughto make my point)

So that equates to a compression ration of 1630:1 – So fairly heavily compressed then. So heavily compressed I think you could argue that you are negating any of the advantages of starting with a 4K file at all.

Of course I could be wrong about this. If anyone has a 4K monitor they would like to loan me I’d love to do some testing.

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