4K video comes to YouTube as new Partner Grants program launched

It's been a big week for the YouTube team. On Thursday, a completely revamped mobile site was launched, and in the afternoon a preview version of Leanback -- a new way to experience YouTube videos -- became publicly available.

Yet still the news keeps coming. Making its presence known at the VidCon 2010 keynote today, the YouTube team revealed some surprises including a new $5 million Partner Grants program, and news that the popular video site now supports uploads of videos shot in highest quality video resolution available today, 4K.

The Partner Grants program, which will see $5 million invested "across select new and emerging YouTube partners", is YouTube's commitment to "bring an even richer body of content for our users and advertisers and raise the creative bar for online video."

"Our goal is to catalyze the creation of new ideas and production models from some of our most innovative and original content partners for the benefit and advancement of the entire industry," YouTube's Partner Development Manager George Strompolos wrote today.

"This additional funding can allow partners to invest in better cameras, achieve higher production quality, expand their marketing efforts, expand their staff, or just hire more talent. Anything that will help them evolve their art, business, and ultimately the entire creator community."

YouTube will contact "eligible partners" selected based on "video views, subscribers, growth rate, audience engagement and production expertise." Those contacted will be invited to submit a Grant proposal, which YouTube explains will be analyzed and evaluated based on a number of factors including "projected performance, distribution plan, marketing plan, cost requirements and appeal to advertisers."

And in a move which shows just how committed the YouTube team are to providing support for videos of all resolutions, videos shot in the very expensive, IMAX-capable 4K resolution can now be uploaded onto the site. 4K, which has a standard resolution of 4096 x 3072, ideally requires a screen 25 feet big and a projector the size of a "small refrigerator" YouTube says.

With videos supporting 4K extremely scarce (and content creation likely to be slow given the high cost of the cameras), the team at YouTube have put together a playlist showing off the few available partner videos which support the higher resolution. To view the videos in 4K, select "Original" in the video quality menu. But be warned: YouTube says you'll need a "ultra-fast high-speed broadband connection" to view the data-intensive videos, which in countries with capped Internet usage such as Australia will also quickly chew up data .

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41 Comments

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we use the terms '720p' and '1080p,' but suddenly i see a lot of 4096p. i like saying "4k resolution" or whatever, but 4096p is backwards from the current standard; instead, we should say '3120p' or whatever it is. am i the only one that is bothered by that?

Jdawg683 said,
we use the terms '720p' and '1080p,' but suddenly i see a lot of 4096p. i like saying "4k resolution" or whatever, but 4096p is backwards from the current standard; instead, we should say '3120p' or whatever it is. am i the only one that is bothered by that?

what bothers me is that it is 4:3... WTH?

4k on youtube isnt all that it's hyped up to be. I can watch it on my MacBook Pro with Nvidia 230m. 50mbit connection. SUPER COMPRESSED. I can see so many compression artifacts.

coth said,
hope to see 2160p monitors on the market soon. at 36-38 '' it would be perfect

Theyre already out there.

theyre called LCD TV's. Way cheaper than let's say, even a 30" monitor!

nub said,
4k looks horrible compared to 1080p.

On your (in comparison) low res screen, therefor having it scaled down, missing loooooads of pixels.

_DP said,
On your (in comparison) low res screen, therefor having it scaled down, missing loooooads of pixels.
It's the horrible bitrate that's the problem.

This is more of a thing for the future the 4k support, maybe when people watch youtube on 200inch displays that have no frame, like a hologram.

I think it's good to give some partners some really good Camera's first, then once the average users connections get better allow higher bitrate video's.

A lot of youtube partners are still using camera's not much better than the flip ultra HD.

danisflying527 said,
Did you have to say Australia and just rub it in my face =)))
Man I wish I lived somewhere with good internets

I feel your pain. I live here too

4k is too slow for anybody to watch, their 720 and 1080 is fine watching, but 4k would take forever to get a decently long piece of content on the site. In order for the 4k too work bandwidth upgrades must be implemented and that would solve the problem for the most part. Most peoples internet connection is like 3-5mbps and that's definitely not enough for people to upload 4k quality. Waste of 5 million dollars. But the CPU idle is pretty good depending on which browser your on.

Xypro said,
4k is too slow for anybody to watch, their 720 and 1080 is fine watching, but 4k would take forever to get a decently long piece of content on the site. In order for the 4k too work bandwidth upgrades must be implemented and that would solve the problem for the most part. Most peoples internet connection is like 3-5mbps and that's definitely not enough for people to upload 4k quality. Waste of 5 million dollars. But the CPU idle is pretty good depending on which browser your on.

I can stream the 4k or 1080p just fine... Not that I'm bragging. Well, actually I am. hahaha.

Xypro said,
4k is too slow for anybody to watch, their 720 and 1080 is fine watching, but 4k would take forever to get a decently long piece of content on the site. In order for the 4k too work bandwidth upgrades must be implemented and that would solve the problem for the most part. Most peoples internet connection is like 3-5mbps and that's definitely not enough for people to upload 4k quality. Waste of 5 million dollars. But the CPU idle is pretty good depending on which browser your on.

I can stream it just fine 100/100 internet connection. also quad core xeon with 4870 video card. The problem is that the way youtube does it its super compressed and the 1080p quality is much better.

They need to invest in something useful, like more bandwidth because youtube is slow as hell. Too slow for this new res to be useful at all.

can't really tell much from the sample videos although its kinda hard to display a 12 megapixel image on a 2 megapixel display

quality needs to be improved on the images, also download options would be nice so i'm not streaming these massive files all the time

kouhii00 said,
I'll be the first to say.
PORN at 4k resolution !!!!

There's just some things that weren't meant to be seen in such detail...

_DP said,

There's just some things that weren't meant to be seen in such detail...

Or you can just go have sex, and watch it in 10K Resolution, virtual reality sans the virtual.

Thats useful isn't it, 4K video from youtube - now I just need to get 4 monitors hooked up to my dual quad core system situated in my data centre office right on the internet backbone - put my feet up and enjoy my new found pixelness

duddut2 said,
Thats useful isn't it, 4K video from youtube - now I just need to get 4 monitors hooked up to my dual quad core system situated in my data centre office right on the internet backbone - put my feet up and enjoy my new found pixelness

I don't thow lols about willy nilly but this really made me LOL.

LaXu said,
What good is 4k when even their 720p and 1080p have such low bitrates?

Actually I think you will be able to upload 4K content, but not view it at 4K resolution, it may seem useless now, but in 10 years maybe you'll be glad you don't have to reupload all your vids in a higher res.