YouTube Live Adds ‘Ultra Low-Latency’ Option

Doesn’t support 4K, but new setting does feature ‘a couple of seconds of latency’
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YouTube said it has enhanced its YouTube Live streaming service with a new lower-latency settings that come with some bit-rate tradeoffs.

A new “Ultra-Low Latency” setting  lets users stream video “with just a couple seconds of latency,” Kurt Wilms, produce lead for YouTube Live, explained in this blog post, adding that the setting doesn’t require special software or encoders and is tailored for near real-time interaction between the sender of the video and the viewers.

However, the tradeoff is that the Ultra-Low Latency setting does not support DVR, 1440p and 4K resolutions, along with an increased chance that viewers may experience buffering.

That setting complements a regular “Low Latency” setting, which also does not support 4K, but improves buffering, and a baseline “Normal Latency” setting that, YouTube says, is best for users who don’t plan to interact with their audiences. In addition to lower instances of viewer buffering, the Low Latency setting can use all resolutions supported by YouTube Live.

YouTube Live also added several new chat moderation tools, including an opt-in option that lets users hold potentially inappropriate messages for review, and a way for users to live-stream directly from an iPhone screen.