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YouTube Adds 'Leanback,' Support For 4K Video

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the need-to-buy-more-monitors dept.

Youtube 204

teh31337one writes with news that YouTube has announced support for 4K video, which runs at a resolution of 4096 x 3072. From their blog: "To give some perspective on the size of 4K, the ideal screen size for a 4K video is 25 feet; IMAX movies are projected through two 2k resolution projectors. ... Because 4K represents the highest quality of video available, there are a few limitations that you should be aware of. First off, video cameras that shoot in 4K aren't cheap, and projectors that show videos in 4K are typically the size of a small refrigerator. And, as we mentioned, watching these videos on YouTube will require super-fast broadband." They provided a small playlist of videos shot in 4K. This announcement comes a few days after YouTube debuted "Leanback," a service that attempts to find and serve videos you'll like based on past viewing habits, as well as offering a simplified method of browsing.

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not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (5, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860868)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Hi-Vision [wikipedia.org]

4k video is so legacy.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860956)

Particularly given the existence of films that are never actually filmed(ie. virtually anything Pixar has done, etc.) which make the existence of a camera that can actually handle a given resolution irrelevant to that resolution's "existence", the notion of a "highest resolution" seems rather meaningless.

This goes double for any format with lossy compression(ie. pretty much all of them in any sort of practical use), where you could declare that your format is 16,000,000x9,000,000 pixels, and thus the awesomest available, and then compress it down to 1Mb/S. The result would look roughly like the original Wolfenstein; but it would be the highest resolution out there.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861060)

Also - tons of people actually have cameras perfectly capable of making videos in this resolution, assuming they are of quite specific kind - stop motion animation.

But yeah, I would prefer better bitrates (and/or encoding methods; H.264 won't be the last word) in more "standard" resolutions than such things basically just for show. Vimeo has "only" HD, with with their higher bitrates they look better (plus one can download the initial file)

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861176)

Given that this "Super Hi-Vision" did include a specially built camera capable of doing 60 FPS at that resolution, I give the engineers involved credit for that part of the system. There may also have been some interesting FPGA work done to compress the result in reasonable time. Aside from that, though, the whole thing seems like a stunt.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861072)

Well if your generated graphics are vector based, then the resolution you rasterize to could have some effect on quality, but only if your screen is >= that resolution after all or it'll just be downscaled.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861164)

My point with the generated graphics was just that, if you are talking about videos actually shot with a camera at some specified frame rate, there is, in fact, a meaningful "highest resolution". If no camera presently built can do more than YxZ pixels at 24 FPS, or 60 FPS, or whatever you prefer; then it is meaningful to say that YxZ pixels is the "highest resolution".

If you are talking about CGI, the output resolution is limited only by storage space and patience. In theory, there is still a "highest resolution" since there is a finite amount of digital storage currently available on earth(might be a cute problem to use as a test of somebody's ability to make sensible estimates; but otherwise of no real interest).

I have no reason to believe that, in practice, pure CGI outfits are rasterizing to resolutions any higher than their camera-using counterparts are shooting; but they could if they wanted to, while the camera crowd would need new hardware.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861918)

Pure CGI is not completely resolution-independent; a lot of the quality depends on how detailed the textures are.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861194)

The eye has a resolution of about 400 dpi on one meter distance*.
So the resolvable angle is (1 inch / 400) / (1 m) = 6.35E-5 rad

4K on 25 feet screens is 1.9 mm per pixel, or 13 dpi.

Means you need to put that screen as far as 30m away, otherwise you could theoretically see pixels.

With 8K, 15m. With your laptop, about 3m.

*Hint: don't print in a finer resolution.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32860980)

Bah, how low-tech. I'm waiting for Ultra Mega Hyper-Definition 3000(TM).

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860984)

Who in the heck moderated this off-topic? How could this possibly be any more on-topic? It directly refutes a claim made in the summary!

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861070)

22.2 channel audio. Seriously, NHK.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (2, Insightful)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861144)

Man, this is getting ridiculous. As sweet as it sounds, do we really need more than 1920x1080? Granted, I don't have a 4000-pixel-wide monitor, but on my 2048x1152, I can't tell a difference between this and 1080p at all.

Then again, this is on YouTube. I'm sure compression brought the quality below a 1080p Blu-Ray the instant it was uploaded.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (1)

VinylPusher (856712) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861716)

1920x1080 is not the absolute last word on things. 1920x1080 is *not* enough for everybody. More screen-space is always welcome.

My old phone had a 640x360 display. New phones are available with 800x480. The iPhone 4 has a 960x640 resolution screen and that's only a 3.5" display!

I would like to enjoy as many pixels per square centimeter on my TV and laptop as I do on my phone. Consider old laptops had 800x600 displays, then we had technological advances through 1024x768, 1280x1024... then widescreen from 1280x800 now up to a maximum of 1920x1200 for laptop displays, 2560x1440 and 2560x1600 for very expensive external monitors. Technological advances now seem to apply solely to mobile devices. In fact, we're going backwards ever so slightly because 2560x1600 was last year's top resolution. Same monitor family this year sports 2560x1440 at the top of the range. Pixels per square centimeter is still nto great, because to go more than 1920x1200 means a 27" screen, minimum.

Perhaps there is no market demand? 1920x1200 is a nice resolution on a laptop. Still considered luxury, for the most part. People even seem happy with 1024x600 on their netbooks.

1920x1080 seems to be the new 1920x1200 for laptop displays and external monitors from anywhere just short of 23" all the way up to 27". If we're going to stick with 16:9 as our ratio, I'd like to see us progress from 1920x1080 to 2560x1440, 3200x1800 and then 4000x2250.

Imagine that on your 17" laptop. Heck, why not go crazy and have 6000x3375? We could do away with horrible, blurry, anti-aliased text on our displays.

Sadly I think progress will come in the form of OLED (or a variant). That will at least get rid of refresh lag, which really sucks but everyone kinda just ignores it because those of us who remember (or still use) CRT's know that LCD's clarity outweighs CRT's short-persistence phosphory blur.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861804)

Did you read the subject of TFA? I don't need a lecture on screen resolution, and of course I support more resolution if I've got a 2048x1152 monitor (and that's just one of two monitors on my desk).

My point is that as a video standard, 1080p is far from being widely adopted, yet YouTube is introducing streaming (and thus compressed) 4000-something pixel video. How many years will it be before anyone actually produces real content at these resolutions, and more importantly - before people can consume it on their screens?

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (3, Insightful)

AAWood (918613) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861762)

Of course you can't tell the difference; your monitor resolution means that the video is being rendered down to only a few percent over 1080p anyway, and the same will be the case for almost everyone. Support for this will cater to a niche audience for the moment, whilst also allowing for wider adoption of higher-resolution cameras, monitors and graphics cards. This is how it always is in the world of tech; we settle into a certain pattern of what we can expect our hardware to achieve, and then someone releases software (or a service, or something) that requires hardware currently on the upper bounds, slowly encouraging people to purchase it, manufacturers to lower the costs, and R&D to start working on the next high-end until eventually the cutting-edge hardware it required is mainstream.

Remember that once upon a time, 640k of RAM *really was* enough for pretty much anyone.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861820)

I knew someone would come back with the 640K thing. I'm not anti-progress, and of course technology advances at a breakneck pace. I just don't think it's a big deal that YouTube supports it right now, when 99% of people's biggest televisions and monitors don't even come close.

I also know why I can't tell the difference, my point there was supposed to be that I've got what's considered a pretty high-end monitor by today's standards, and this 4000px video standard gives me zero benefit. It is INCREDIBLY niche.

It will be sweet when it's the standard though :)

It's the highest in actual use (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861502)

SHV is experimental tech. They are playing with it right now, but it isn't in use anywhere, even in the pro world. It is just proof of concept and early testing.

4k is the high end of cinema. 4k is normally what you scan in and process film at (it is considered to be about the same as good 35mm). You can also get monitors that are very nearly 4k, and the high end digital cinema projectors are 4k. It is a currently used and in production format. If you go to a new, spiffy, digital theater and watch a movie like Avatar, it is probably a 4k projector (though some places with smaller screens use 2k instead, which is just a bit higher than 1080p).

There's a difference between "Technology that is being developed," and "Technology that is being used."

Take Ethernet. 100gb is currently under development. There are test units that exist, and the standard was finalized last month. However it is not a deployed technology. Your network does not have 100gb Ethernet backbones. 10gb is currently the fastest Ethernet out there. It is the fastest deployed in actual networks right now (fastest Ethernet, I know there are faster POS lines and so on).

So it is accurate to say 4k video is the highest for now.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861560)

Which is all fine and dandy but not really that usefull at home. Visual quality probably doesn't improve at all after 4k (in said home setting). The average human can discern two points that are about 1 arcminute apart of each other. At 50cm distance this is about 290dpi. On a 22" monitor (with 16:9 aspect ratio) it'd require a resolution of ~3400x1900 pixel. The end is near! :) Still cool though of course.

Re:not the highest resolution: 8k super hi-vision (2, Interesting)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861870)

Gee, that's almost the resolution needed to show a square inch of a Durer etching!

cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32860882)

how many people out there actually have the hardware to enjoy these videos?

Re:cool but... (2, Funny)

korean.ian (1264578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860918)

how many people out there actually have the hardware to enjoy these videos?

Well, I can think of at least two - Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Re:cool but... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861434)

There's also Frank, with his 2000 inches TV.

Re:cool but... (3, Funny)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861206)

I watched it and now am impressed! 1080p suddenly looks like RCA Studio 2 console, with giant pixels.

Yay HD. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32860902)

Now I can enjoy horse porn in glorious 4096 x 3072!

I think this may kill the horse porn industry (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861096)

At those resolutions the horses can never shave close enough.

Re:I think this may kill the horse porn industry (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861320)

At those resolutions the horses can never shave close enough.

It makes no difference for sick bastards like the OP, who are clearly into ponies.

Re:I think this may kill the horse porn industry (1)

FlyMysticalDJ (1660959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861482)

At those resolutions the horses can never shave close enough.

It makes no difference for sick bastards like the OP, who are clearly into ponies.

This sounds like a matter of projection to me...

Re:I think this may kill the horse porn industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861494)

At those resolutions the horses can never shave close enough.

It makes no difference for sick bastards like the OP, who are clearly into ponies.

I prefer my horses in all their furry glory, thank you very much.

4096 x 3072 (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860910)

Not much use to me, my 21" CRT monitor only supports up to 2048x1536 and that at only 75Hz.

So, the ideal screen for 4K is 25 feet (google says it's 300 inches) or 240 x 180 inch. So that makes it ~17 dpi (4096px/240in). Too low. With good, ~300dpi screen you would only need 20.48 x 15.36 inch screen, or 25.6 inch diagonal, doable, but probably nobody makes monitors with that high resolution. CRT is probably more doable than LCD though and nobody likes CRTs because you can't place several monitors one behind the other without taking a huge amount of space..

Re:4096 x 3072 (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860924)

With good, ~300dpi screen

make that 200dpi...

Re:4096 x 3072 (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861068)

So, the ideal screen for 4K is 25 feet (google says it's 300 inches) or 240 x 180 inch. So that makes it ~17 dpi (4096px/240in). Too low. With good, ~300dpi screen you would only need 20.48 x 15.36 inch screen

And it would be entirely wasted, because you don't sit 12 inches from your screen to watch a movie, so you wouldn't be able to see a resolution that high anyway.

Re:4096 x 3072 (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861160)

And a huge screen (for example, in a cinema) is more wasted to me - either I sit far enough to see the whole screen without needing to turn my head and see crap resolution or I sit near enough to see every detail, but on only a part of the screen. That's why, to me, dpi is more important than just size.

Re:4096 x 3072 (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861492)

Try IMAX.The huge screen, larger than you can take in at one look, makes for a very different experience than a normal cinema screen. Especially for 3D.

Though it's not suited for most films. It's best suited for natural history and space documentaries and the like.

Re:4096 x 3072 (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861538)

No IMAX theater in my country, but Wikipedia says there are some in Poland, maybe someday I'll visit it.

Re:4096 x 3072 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861708)

Where do you live? I almost live a in a third world mud hut and there's an IMAX cinema nearby.

Re:4096 x 3072 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861790)

Which will come first, the ultra-high resolution screen that can play this video, or the video that needs an ultra-high resolution screen to be appreciated?

Someone has to push the envelope.

Re:4096 x 3072 (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861954)

nobody likes CRTs because you can't place several monitors one behind the other without taking a huge amount of space

The rise of LCD monitors in a nutshell right there.

Mess (2, Interesting)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860912)

Youtube makes a horrible mess of 1080p Hi-Def video and uses far too much CPU to display, on my system much more than the original HD video does, what would it do to video with more detail than Hi-Def?

Re:Mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32860952)

Not only that the bitrate is so low that the higher resolutions are no more than marketing bullet points.

Re:Mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861086)

I don't know what you are talking about.

I just loaded up one of these videos from the playlist @ their original resolution

It was a compelling film about the life of a spinning series of circles.

You should really check it out.

Re:Mess (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861132)

And it's compressed to everloving hell, so you can't even tell that it's 4k. It's almost bad enough to just look like poorly upscaled 480p.

Re:Mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861840)

Yeah, lots of blocking. I was pretty excited until I actually saw it. Perhaps P2P has an offering with the necessary minimum video bandwidth.

Re:Mess (2, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861150)

Youtube might be making a play for something. Maybe they want to be the video source for Anime conventions. Maybe they hope to get projected before movies at low-end theaters who don't have advertising contracts but who do have digital projectors. Maybe they want better-than-1080p resolution for those pesky high resolution PC monitors. Maybe they're just trying to counter the image that Youtube is still all about postage-stamp sized videos of squirrels getting drunk.

Either way, 4K is pretty future proof. If source video started getting uploaded in 4k, they could display across Imax theaters, regular theaters, 1080p HDTV's, CRT's, and cellphones... Sort of the way that sound gets recorded in 24bits or higher, despite being generally played back in 16 bits.

Re:Mess (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861166)

Now that I say all of that, YouTube might be making a play for Videos-On-Demand for theaters. Have an independent movie theater and want to show Casablanca on Valentine's Day? Why go to a distributor when you could go through YouTube's new Media On Demand service, pay a flat theater rate, and be ready to go in minutes?

4k is a good way of hedging bets against future functionality.

Re:Mess (1)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861746)

That doesn't make sense to me.

Google streams the video to you as H264. How much CPU is consumed when you play it doesn't depend on how Google formulates it - it depends on your hardware and software.

It ain't 1080p, but I've tried hi-def movies and hi-def Youtube videos on one of the early models of the Acer Revo's (these are very small and cheap atom CPU + ION computers) with Win7 and Flash 10.1 and the CPU was barely working.

What is this for again? (2, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860936)

OK, I am downloading one just to try it out, there's no way in heck I can stream it, I can't even stream "normal" you tube vids yet, just can't get a good enough internet connection around here for that. So..what is this ultra high resolution for again? Who has a 25 foot screen at home? Why the bandwith wasteage? Really, just an honest question, if the bulk of humanity can't watch this in the manner it was designed for..why bother? Isn't this like driving around a 3 ton SUV to get to work in? Aren't we supposed to be all doing our part to just stop wasting resources for the hell of it? Just "because you can" is somehow bad when it comes to some forms of energy use, but other forms get a pass because it's connected to a computer? Google is supposedly "green", I am not seeing pushing this as being all that "green". How about "good enough" video quality with less megs being needed to be transferred instead, as a focus?

Re:What is this for again? (2, Insightful)

jvillain (546827) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860990)

I would take flashless WebM support over 4K all day long. I can only view less than 0.01% of the youtube content currently because of flash so I am not really that excited about 4K just yet.

Re:What is this for again? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860992)

Simple marketing stunt, I expect. For the cost of hosting a couple of stupidly large videos, and the bandwidth of a lot of people downloading the first 10 seconds and then giving up, and a couple of fiber-to-home users downloading the whole thing and then realizing that no x86 ever made can allow flash to decode video at that resolution in real time, Google gets a little more buzz about youtube.

No imagination (2, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861922)

Who has a 25 foot screen at home?

Well, someone must be buying them, when even Walmart has them for sale:

Draper Cineflex Cineperm Fixed Frame Screen - 25' diagonal NTSC Format [walmart.com]

Really, just an honest question, if the bulk of humanity can't watch this in the manner it was designed for..why bother? Isn't this like driving around a 3 ton SUV to get to work in?

No.

It's more like the open air cinema projects that began in the silent era:

Open Air Cinema, [openaircinema.us] Open Air Cinema & Film Aid in Tanzania [openaircinema.us]
  FilmAid International [filmaid.org]

Aren't we supposed to be all doing our part to just stop wasting resources for the hell of it?

I am tempted to argue that the geek sees bandwidth as waste - any resource as a waste - only when someone else has it - uses it - and is willing to pay the price.

The argument is specious anyway.

The 4Kx2K movie can be stamped onto a cheap plastic disk. Delivered by mail or streamed off a satellite.

Bandwith is a problem only when you want instant gratification.

Does it really matter if the 4Kx2K Monsters vs Aliens takes two or three days to download in the background at very low priority?

How about less compression? (5, Interesting)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860950)

I just tried a couple seconds at 1080p, and a couple of seconds at 4k on a 1080p screen, and found the difference to be quite noticeable in the details. The downside was that my 8800GT can't actually play 4k video faster than 4fps. How about instead of a 4k option almost no one will use, we try a 1080p option that doesn't have massive blocks, fringes, and blurring.

Re:How about less compression? (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861056)

It's rather irksome how effectively marketers have pushed "resolution" rather than bitrate as a metric of video quality, despite the fact that, with digital video, the latter is generally far more important than the former(except, of course, for output devices like monitors and projectors, where the number of physical pixels really does matter, and input devices like cameras, where the number of pixels matters, along with the quality of the glass, degree of compression, and a bunch of other fiddly stuff).

As 20 seconds in the image manipulation program of your choice will easily demonstrate, you can resize an image(and, by extension, a series of images) from any resolution you have to any resolution you want, subject only to the limits of your RAM and your patience.

If all video were lossless, or there were some iron law stating "though shalt allocate no less than X bits per Y pixels", comparing videos by resolution might actually matter. As it is, though, in most real world situations, the limitation is in the bitrate(unless you have a really crap monitor), and, while you can smear your too-few-Mb/s mpeg4 over as "high resolution" an output as you like, it isn't going to look any better.

Re:How about less compression? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861338)

except, of course, for output devices like monitors and projectors, where the number of physical pixels really does matter.

Your monitor isn't an exception, it just has sufficient bandwidth to display uncompressed video. It other words, "perfect" bit rate.

And bit rate isn't the whole story; the method of compression has a tremendous effect on video quality. 1920x1080 30p ATSC takes the same amount of bandwidth as 480i NTSC. 320x240 24p uncompressed RGB video is about the same bit rate as Blu-Ray. If marketers pushed bit rate instead of resolution, we'd just have huge files with lousy compression.

There are just too many variables to say that video quality comes down to one specific dimension. Resolution, bit rate, and compression algorithm are all important, and picking the right combination for your specific content is even more so.

Re:How about less compression? (2, Informative)

Jerf (17166) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861074)

What that basically means is that your 1080P video was overcompressed and did not actually contain "1080P"-worth of information. The 4K video is probably overcompressed and doesn't contain "4K" worth of information either, but it had more than the 1080P video. (In fact there's a decent chance the 4K video is simply about 1080P's worth done right.) You shouldn't be able to tell.

Variable bit rate encodings means that resolution is pretty much a fiction, as others have pointed out in this discussion.

This is one of the reasons that BluRay won't quite die as fast as some people say. While it is technically possible to stream a BluRay-quality video, we're a ways away from it being practical on the large scale yet, and we're even further away from it being so dirt cheap that big corporations finally decide that they might as well not compress the video to death. (I've certainly streamed some video from Netflix I'd call "better than SD", but definitely not "BluRay quality".) Until then, streams can label themselves as "1080P" all they like, but without the bits it's just equivalent to a lower resolution video upsampled. There's different levels of "pixel quality".

In other news, a DVD can have a better quality than a streamed putatively-HD video, because the DVD may have less resoultion, but (like BluRay) it's full of high-quality pixels where the HD-stream may just consist of impressionistic blobs when you really look at it. Bits matter.

Re:How about less compression? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861210)

The Xbox 360 used to be a perfect example of this.

Buy a video of something in SD. Then buy it again in HD. Watch them both on an SD screen. Theoretically, they should be basically exactly the same. But as it stood, the HD version displayed on an SD screen had far less artifacting, smoother black gradients, and a more solid apparent framerate. Therefore, the "HD" rate was actually about adequate for SD video. Sadly, at least at first it wasn't up to the task of HD video.

The same can be said of cameras. You can have a 15 Megapixel CCD that has poor light absorption and comes up with terrible images. Some of the best images have come from 1 MP cameras with giant CCD's and huge lenses (like the ones NASA uses).

Ya 4k is stupid (2, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861296)

There are no consumer 4k monitors out there, none. You CAN find 4k large displays if you try. Barco makes some that are close (3840x2160) like their LC-5621 but that costs nearly $40,000. 4k is just not the sort of thing you find on a desktop PC or in a consumer's home.

As such doing video on a site like Youtube in it is worthless. Actually it is worse than worthless since, as you noted, it overloads the decoding ability of current hardware and causes slowdown. There is just no point, at all, on current desktop systems. Until they have displays that can handle the image and graphics hardware that can handle the decoding it doesn't do shit.

As you said, they need to improve their 1080p stuff. Reason is that their 1080 stuff... well... isn't. I mean yes, it is encoded at 1920x1080, but the compression is so heavy that you do not really get that level of detail. I mean consider that Blu-ray usually runs in the realm of 25mbps H.264 for 1080p. Youtube's problem with regards to visuals isn't resolution, they can already handle the resolution of all but the biggest computer displays (27" and 30" LCDs are slightly past 2k, but that's as high as it goes). Their problem is that they compress things to a very low bitrate to aid in streaming.

So fix that first. Don't add a 4k option, add a 1080p HBR (high bit rate) option. Until you are streaming high enough bitrate to make 1080p look real good, there's no point in going any higher. Once you've got that, then maybe add 2k for the really big monitors (not that a 2k source is easy to get). Don't add 4k until there is actual 4k hardware in homes. That day will come I'm sure, but probalby not for another 5-10 years.

Re:How about less compression? (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861722)

Was coming to report the same. How sad... My 100mbps Internet connection streams the whole thing just fine, but my 8800GTS grinds to a halt attempting to play it... Never thought I'd see the day when the bottleneck would be on my computer rather than on my Internet connection...

Next up... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32860958)

The Reacharound!

4K?? They can't even do 1080p yet (1, Informative)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860962)

I'd be far more impressed by this news, had it not been for YouTube's dismal implementation of 1080p, which in reality is only 1920x540. Yes, they effectively do 1080i, but remove one of the frames entirely.

This should prove the point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyFGDHPm-tc

Re:4K?? They can't even do 1080p yet (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861028)

I'd be far more impressed by this news, had it not been for YouTube's dismal implementation of 1080p, which in reality is only 1920x540. Yes, they effectively do 1080i, but remove one of the frames entirely.

This should prove the point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyFGDHPm-tc

It's called Blu-Ray. Expecting to see true 2K on a free streaming site is asking a lot. I just watched a 1080 video on Youtube that looked nice for streaming. Was it true 1080P, no, deal with it. It wasn't that long ago that live streaming video was a frame every 5 minutes. It was a big deal when people started streaming multiple frames a second at extreme low res. The rate of advancement is breathtaking.

Re:4K?? They can't even do 1080p yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861104)

They should call it 1920Hp. It sounds bigger, and doesn't explicitly present the user with the one aspect of the video it's failing to live up to.

Re:4K?? They can't even do 1080p yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861120)

I really dont understand what everyone complains about. I watch 1080p youtube on my tv all the time (through a htpc running XBMC). It might not be blurray, but its crisp and clear. Heres a good example of a 1080p starcraft2 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvDBBXqthrY

All the text looks just as clear as it does when playing the game.

Pathetic bitrate (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 4 years ago | (#32860986)

Seriously at the resolution if you want to take advantage of it you have to use a higher bitrate... In the state it is in currently, all this gets you is more macroblocks and a boiling CPU. I'll pass thank you...

Stop the hatin' (5, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861040)

I see it already, the army of Slashdotters saying "no one has the bandwidth for this" and "no one has the video hardware for this" and "YouTube's implementation of this sucks." Well, that's ok. The point is that they're pushing the limits. Remember the first time you saw any video at all on a computer? Chunky, blocky, slow, tiny video coming off a CD-ROM in the early 1990's, perhaps? Yeah, it sucked, but the point was that they were showing something that would, eventually, evolve into something useful. Without the crappy CD-ROM graphics of the early 1990's, there would be no YouTube today. Someone's got to be the first to try it, someone's got to get the technology out there so it can be improved. Wouldn't you like to eventually watch YouTube in HD directly on your television? Today you've got to jump through hoops to do that. Tomorrow it might be as effortless as watching YouTube on your desktop computer.

Re:Stop the hatin' (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861330)

And in a sense we're already there on the capture end -- you can plunk down $300-$400 and get a digital SLR (or Micro Four Thirds "thing that is like a SLR but with no reflex mirror") that shoots at precisely this resolution. The only thing stopping them from storing video at these framerates is the ability to get all the data off of the CMOS sensor and onto the memory card fast enough. 4000 x 3000 x 30 fps x 12 bits per pixel is 4.3Gbps, which is hard. But Olympus already makes a cheap digital SLR that will do this resolution at 5fps, and that limit is caused by the mechanical motion of the shutter and mirror. Nikon will give it to you at 12fps or something if you're willing to plunk down the $$$, and again -- that limit is for the mechanical elements.

Re:Stop the hatin' (3, Insightful)

Kev Vance (833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861552)

Thank you! Reading page after page of complaints about this was disheartening. Not everyone has lost their sense of imagination.

Re:Stop the hatin' (1)

supertrinko (1396985) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861910)

It seems to have become common practise to suggest that the quality of music or movies are low, many simply say this to show people that they are capable of telling the difference. Almost a rite of passage into 1337hood.

screen and c/gpu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861052)

i don't have a big screen and even if I did, my computer can't cope with the 4K...

Er, framerate, or video length anyone? (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861116)

A hundred times more useful than a 4k resolution would be to allow videos more than 10 minutes long. Or better quality for 1080p. Or, my pet favourite, frame rates at around 60fps (and yes, obviously 60fps apx video does appear much smoother than half that frame rate as has been discussed countless times on /. ).

Re:Er, framerate, or video length anyone? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861190)

They would have to pay MPEG-LA for each streaming of H.264 if the video is more than 12 minutes in length.

Re:Er, framerate, or video length anyone? (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861288)

This could enable longer videos, sure.

Make a 4000x3000 video where each frame consists of a mosaic of 16 successive frames of a 1000x750 video, and then release a third-party plugin that will pull out the frames and play the original video.

Framerate, not resolution (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861122)

James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar, etc.) says that higher frame rates are more valuable than higher resolution. He wanted to do Avatar at 48FPS, but the technology wasn't there yet. The sequel probably will be at a higher frame rate. Cameron points out that 4K resolution is worthless beyond the first few rows of the theater, but frame rate benefits all viewers.

It's a real issue for Cameron, who, as a director, likes sweeping panoramas with high detail. If you pan slowly over a high-resolution scene at 24FPS, there are visible artifacts. This precludes certain shots which look great and ought to be in the movie. It's necessary to defocus slightly or add motion blur for certain shots.

So YouTube should work on getting their frame rates up, not their resolutions. Let's see some IMAX movies at 48FPS on YouTube.

Re:Framerate, not resolution (2, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861138)

Yes, and after frame rate higher dynamic range. Screen resolution is a distant third.

Re:Framerate, not resolution (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861170)

So, once James Cameron does this, he can release a press statement:

"I've upped my frame rates. Up yours!"

Re:Framerate, not resolution (1)

Mystiq (101361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861172)

It seems like the biggest problem for the 4k videos is not the frame rate but the bit rate. There's a ton of compression artifacts in all those 4k videos that I'm not convinced are going to look any better on a 4k-capable monitor.

Also, I thought he wanted to shoot it at a higher frame rate because it would make the 3D less eye-straining?

Re:Framerate, not resolution (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861270)

Yes, essentially, because of the way the 3D works -- you're using alternating frames for left, right, left, etc. This means that stuff close to the "viewpoint", where there's a significant difference between the left and right images, winds up only at 12fps.

I know a few people who got severe headaches from watching Avatar because of the 3d; I imagine that improving the framerate will go a long way toward fixing this.

Re:Framerate, not resolution (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861358)

Yes, essentially, because of the way the 3D works -- you're using alternating frames for left, right, left, etc. This means that stuff close to the "viewpoint", where there's a significant difference between the left and right images, winds up only at 12fps.

I know a few people who got severe headaches from watching Avatar because of the 3d; I imagine that improving the framerate will go a long way toward fixing this.

RealD, the leading 3D projection system, projects alternating views at 144 fps, not 24 fps. Each eye's view of each frame is projected 3 times.

Most film projectors have 3-bladed shutters, so running at 24 fps, they will also display each frame 3 times.

Re:Framerate, not resolution (1, Insightful)

mrpiddly (1568401) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861360)

Sadly all the technology in the world did not stop James from making one of the worst movies ever. Film is not about the medium. Upload 99.99% of youtube videos in 4k, and you still have crap.

Re:Framerate, not resolution (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861904)

Sadly all the technology in the world did not stop James from making one of the worst movies ever.

Yeah, yeah, sanctimonious hyperbole. If you think Avatar is literally one of the worst movies ever you've never seen an Uwe Bolle film - he's got a couple of dozen big-budget crapfests. Then there are all the evangelical-produced end-days/rapture movies which as a genre are uniformly terrible. After those easy categories there are still thousands of really poor films out there in all genres. Avatar may have had pedestrian story-telling but only a reverse-fan-boi is going to claim that it is close to the bottom of the barrel.

Re:Framerate, not resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861966)

Hey, it was better then Twilight.

Obligatory XKCD (-1, Redundant)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861156)

Oh dear (3, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861184)

And a million internet tubes cried out in pain.

"Holy fuck! How many pixels by how many! What? HOW MANY? WTF? o_O We're gonna need a bigger pipe!"

"Leanback"... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861222)

...sounds a lot like this thing called "television" that we used to have back in the last century.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page could watch this (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861224)

All it takes to view these videos in their native resolution is a $60,000 4k monitor like the one available here : http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/676516-REG/Astro_Design_Inc_DM_3410_4K_x_2K_10.html [bhphotovideo.com]

For a billionaire, 60 grand is not even 1/100 of a percent of their total fortune. Not to mention that they could have google pay for the screen because technically messing around with 4k resolution is a business expense....(even if Larry or Sergey were using it to view equine pornography)

Who cares. (-1, Offtopic)

HBI (604924) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861256)

Youtube is pretty much unwatchable now, between the annoying boxes people put on videos to the annoying ads. I may never find out about their new features, because I don't go there anymore.

Re:Who cares. (2, Interesting)

hdon (1104251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861290)

Youtube is pretty much unwatchable now, between the annoying boxes people put on videos to the annoying ads. I may never find out about their new features, because I don't go there anymore.

When YouTube ditches Flash for Javascript and HTML5 video, we'll all be able to hack YouTube with browser add-ons like Greasemonkey to disable the annoying boxes people add to videos when/if we want, or move them so they don't obscure the video.

Re:Who cares. (1)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861422)

So disable annotations and blacklist the ad servers.

ugh. horrible compreseion... (1)

alexander m (567750) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861268)

as one of the lucky ones with ultra-highspeed bandwidth (160Mbps -- thank you Tokyo) and a monster PC (and 2560x1600, so not quite there, but on the way), i was able to fire this up and stream it immediately with no frame loss -- and it STILL looks like complete and utter trash (except the violin one, which looked ok), since they compressed the sh*t out of it with a codec that was clearly not up to the job. looks like someone either upscaled a piss-poor original, or was trying to make a movie by stringing together low quality jpgs. not how i would have advertised this capability...

No way this should be called "4096P" (1)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861272)

http://www.digitalsociety.org/2010/07/youtube-adds-4k-video-capability-but-how-improving-1080p-first/ [digitalsociety.org]
Google just announced that YouTube will now support “original” resolutions of up to “4096P”, but it’s actually a maximum of 3072P narrowscreen or 2304P widescreen. This announcement makes it sound as if our computers and broadband connection lags Google YouTube when YouTube is actually the weakest link. YouTube’s biggest problem is their over compressed “HD” video that looks nothing like HD video.

Don't be alarmed if your computer whines (1)

hdon (1104251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861278)

My computer's GPU fan just kicked on for the very first time since I bought this machine about 6 months ago.

At first I thought there was something wrong.

And then I realized that, for the first time... there was something right.

Metricate your shit already, America! (0, Troll)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861298)

To give some perspective on the size of 4K, the ideal screen size for a 4K video is 25 feet

Feet? Come on, grandpa Simpson! Why the hell do you people insist in using that primitive measurement system?

Re:Metricate your shit already, America! (2, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861406)

> Feet? Come on, grandpa Simpson! Why the hell do you people insist in using
> that primitive measurement system?

Ok, ok. 1.5 rods.

Re:Metricate your shit already, America! (1)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861694)

or approximately 1.524.000.000 beard seconds.

Re:Metricate your shit already, America! (2, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861824)

It's really fun to watch people like you squirm. In fact we all use a perfectly proportioned system here in America, but we've made a pact that when we get on the internet we will use Standard just to mess with you guys. Then we talk about it at parties.

Re:Metricate your shit already, America! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861868)

The same reason you primitive apes don't use metric time.

Somebody cant count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861336)

Surely you need four 2k projectors to make a 4k image?

IMAX does not use 2 projectors (1)

vanyel (28049) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861382)

Don't know where they get that from, the wikipedia article the article links to doesn't even back that up (with the exception of 3D, but there you have one projector for each eye, which does not increase resolution); all you have to do is look at the projection booth at an IMAX theater; at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (and, apparently, several other Omnimax/IMAX Dome theaters), the projection room is a big glassed in room where you watch the projector in action showing the movie before the one you're about to see while you're waiting.

Youtube needs more bw (1)

the_one(2) (1117139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861450)

Youtube can't even stream 720p in the evenings (at least here in Sweden)... Maybe they should solve that problem first...

I'd like a 30 inch 4k monitor please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861748)

I mean it's only 130 dpi or so, like a desktop version of my laptop screen. The 30 inch dual-DVI monitors from Apple etc. are 2560x1600 which is less dpi than I really like for having a lot of code windows on the screen.

Red (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32861760)

"First off, video cameras that shoot in 4K aren't cheap"

www.red.com

bw (1)

scoopr (849708) | more than 4 years ago | (#32861836)

Heh, my Macbook Pro couldn't handle the 4k, at least played by flash, 4k (or "original") didn't show up in html5 mode.

But what's more interesting for me is that, it's as if they (or someone else upstream from me, like my isp) upped the bandwidth cap from the painful 100-200KB/sec (which can't keep up with 720p videos) to a more pleasant 1.3MB/sec.

Feels stupid to have 200/10 cable and wait for videos to buffer on youtube (while other sites like vimeo are swift).

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