YouTube Adds 4K Live Streaming

New capability will support standard and 360-degree video
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YouTube is taking 4K to the next stage by adding a live streaming option that delivers video in the pixelicious format.

YouTube, which introduced 4K video support in 2010, is “taking 4K one step further with the launch of 4K live streaming for both 360- degree videos and standard videos,” Kurt Wilms, senior product manager at YouTube, said in the announcement. “Get ready for 360 concert and event streams that look sharper, cleaner, and brighter than ever before.”

He reasoned that the live capability will be a big hit with creators and content partners. YouTube will show off the new 4K live streaming capability during the Game Awards, set for Thursday (Dec. 1) at 6 p.m. ET. YouTube will stream the entire show live in 4K.

According to Wilms, YouTube’s 4K live streams will pump out 8 million pixels and support up to 60 frames per second.

YouTube noted that creators will need a hefty and constant upload speed – about 12 Mbps to 20 Mbps to send 4K reliably to its platform.

For users, YouTube will use the VP9 codec for 4K livestreams to keep bitrate and bandwidth requirements in check, as it already does for VOD 4K playback. 

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