YouTube first began support of 4K video uploads back in 2010, growing the video platform into the largest library of 4K videos online. There was one thing missing though — the ability to live stream in 4K.
Now YouTube is taking it all one step further with the launch of 4K live streaming for both 360-degree videos and standard videos.
It’s a bonus to have the ability to livestream in 4K, especially as more and more creators get their hands on reasonably priced consumer 4K cameras. But what is a nice to have for standard 2D videos is actually a necessity when it comes to 360-degree live streaming.
360-degree videos already uploaded on YouTube are best experienced when shared in 4K. Since you are only looking at section of the entire 360-degree video clip, the viewable area in a player or VR headset, keeping a maximum resolution of 4K is key. And the same thinking follows for 360-degree live streaming as well.
With an image that has four times more image definition than 1080p video, your live streams are going to look crispier and smoother at 4K with up to 60 frames per second. You can get a 4K taste during the Game Awards tonight, December 1 at 9 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. PST on YouTube, where the entire show will be live streamed.
Back in April, YouTube gave us our first taste of 360-degree live streaming, kicking off the new feature with coverage from Coachella. YouTube first launched support for 360-degree videos back in March 2015 and later updated the platform in November 2015 to fully support VR video, in a sense making it one of the largest VR content platforms overnight.