YouTube puts in new “2160p 4K” option for video settings

Remember when owning an HDTV was a big thing? Well, that's well in the past now. The new trend among big screen televisions and PC monitors is going up to 4K resolution. This week, YouTube quietly put in some new video options that allow users to watch some clips in 2160p.

Viewing videos in 4K is nothing new for YouTube; as HDTVtest points out, the website has supported uploads of such clips since 2010. However, in order to set the video up for 4K viewing, the options menu had to be set to "Original" so that the clip could run past the 1080p setting. That's not the case anymore. If a video that's been uploaded to the site supports either 4096×2160 or 3840×2160, the menu now shows the new 2160p 4K setting at the very top.

There's also a 1440p setting that's been added as a menu option, perhaps to give users a way to go beyond the typical 1080p display.

YouTube and its parent company Google are clearly preparing the site for what is expected to be an explosion of 4K video content in 2014. More and more televisions are coming out that support the higher resolution. The new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One console both support 4K videos, although 4K games are still a ways away. Microsoft built a 120 inch 4K TV as part of its Envisioning Center technology demo showcase in Seattle. Then there's Panasonic's long awaited 4K 20 inch Windows 8.1 tablet, which should be released in February. Add it all up and it looks like 4K will be everywhere in the next 12 months.

Source: HDTVtest | Image via YouTube

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4k us about in the same state 1080i was in 2001.its rare but it's there. Personally iam waiting for it to be cheap and for video games there not even a single graphics card that run any games at 4k in playable fps. So in that respect it will still take at least 3 years at the earliest. Price has gone down quite fast tought, Dell is already relasing a 1000$ monitor

I started searching 4k videos on YouTube, and 2 hours later I'm watching a documentary about the dragon on the moon and then how ww2 would have been seen from space.

Almost bought a Samsung 4k television at Best Buy during this holiday season. They were on sale for $3000. Hoping this year we have more content and lower prices.

lately something has been wrong with youtube for me - i have good speed, internationally i download with ~3mb/s and locally - ~8mb/s

months ago youtube used to stream perfectly for me, now most of the videos wont even start streaming at 480p, while others will stream at 1080p with no problem

It would be better if Google focussed on getting the basics right rather than adding gimmicks like this. Stop "auto-detecting" that I need to watch video at 480p resolution when my 120Mbps connection will support the highest resolution available. Remember that I don't want stupid comments displayed. And do something about the fact that it now takes a million clicks to fix the above each time I want to watch a video.

jakem1 said,
It would be better if Google focussed on getting the basics right rather than adding gimmicks like this. Stop "auto-detecting" that I need to watch video at 480p resolution when my 120Mbps connection will support the highest resolution available. Remember that I don't want stupid comments displayed. And do something about the fact that it now takes a million clicks to fix the above each time I want to watch a video.

amen to that.
They use cookies in every possible way, so why can't they remember my settings or allow me to set a default. Annoying

jakem1 said,
It would be better if Google focussed on getting the basics right rather than adding gimmicks like this. Stop "auto-detecting" that I need to watch video at 480p resolution when my 120Mbps connection will support the highest resolution available. Remember that I don't want stupid comments displayed. And do something about the fact that it now takes a million clicks to fix the above each time I want to watch a video.

Try https://addons.mozilla.org/en-...on/youtube-high-definition/ if you use firefox. Doesn't work everywhere unfortunately, but it's better than nothing.

Rudy said,
And some times i can barely get youtube to stream 480p content without buffering
Although I don't have a 4k monitor screen but my isp buffers the 4k videos like no big deal. Instant for me.

sanke1 said,
Sadly that's the problem of your ISP if they do not have a peering agreement with youtube.

Not necessarily. It can also happen if playing a rare clip. YouTube gives priority to popular clips.

The only "new" thing about this is the "4k" label next to the 2160p option. It's been a while since Youtube dropped the "Original" quality setting and instead displayed the actual resolution.

I just wonder who is going to use this?

Sure the TV manufacturers are trying to convince consumers to fork over bucketloads of money and buy 4k TV's, but most people on the internet aren't using 4K TV's, they use far lower resolution PC monitors or even lower resolution smartphones.

dvb2000 said,
I just wonder who is going to use this?

Sure the TV manufacturers are trying to convince consumers to fork over bucketloads of money and buy 4k TV's, but most people on the internet aren't using 4K TV's, they use far lower resolution PC monitors or even lower resolution smartphones.

You have to provide it at some stage. While it only benefits the early adopters at this stage, the fact it's available may help promote the uploading of content at this higher resolution, such that in the future when it's more mainstream, we're not all forced to watch gimped content due to lack of foresight.

How many times have you watched a video on YouTube that's possibly been gimped because way back when YouTube didn't support 720p/1080p? Further to that, how often do you see videos that are windowboxed because initially YouTube didn't support 16:9, and letterboxed everything into 4:3 before native 16:9 support was added?

Get in early even if nobody really has it now, so we don't have to put up with those problems again in the future.

dvb2000 said,
I just wonder who is going to use this?

Sure the TV manufacturers are trying to convince consumers to fork over bucketloads of money and buy 4k TV's, but most people on the internet aren't using 4K TV's, they use far lower resolution PC monitors or even lower resolution smartphones.

I am using an iMac screen at 2560 x 1440? So using a higher resolution for me improves quality tons at full screen!

dvb2000 said,
I just wonder who is going to use this?

Sure the TV manufacturers are trying to convince consumers to fork over bucketloads of money and buy 4k TV's, but most people on the internet aren't using 4K TV's, they use far lower resolution PC monitors or even lower resolution smartphones.


My 27-inch iMac's screen resolution far exceeds Full HD.