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YouTube’s New Support for 4K Video Resolution Means Better Stereo 3D

July 11th, 2010 · 7 Comments · General 3D News


YouTube has officially announced that now they support upload and playback of videos with resolution of up to 4K (up 4096×2304 or 2304p and of course also 4096×2160/3840×2160 pixels or 2160p), and although this is not something that every normal user will be able to take advantage of at the current moment, it is still a good move. Actually the update of the supported resolution is more interesting move for people that are working with stereoscopic 3D video than to those that work with higher resolutions than Full HD 1080p (1920×1080). The reason for that being is that commercial cameras that offer recording in 4K 2D resolution like the RED Camera for example are quite expensive for a normal user to afford, but using two consumer grade Full HD cameras you can record stereo 3D video on the cheap and get it in Side by Side format with resolution of 3840×2160. Then you can upload the video in its full resolution and everyone will be able to watch it in its original intended quality in 3D, instead of having to rely on 1080p with half resolution, because of the image being squashed in order to fit into the old supported video format, although this mode will still be available for compatibility reasons with some 3D hardware.

So going to 4K video resolution is indeed a good news for all of us interested in stereo 3D, and in order to get the full quality of normal videos or stereoscopic ones that go beyond 1080p resolution you’ll just have to click on the Original mode when selecting the resolution. This will show the original resolution that the video uses if it is in more than 1080p and up to 2304p, no matter what the resolution is in between these supported modes. Just have in mind that watching 2D or stereo 3D video in 4K resolution online through the flash player requires higher bandwidth, faster CPU and preferably a good video card that can handle GPU acceleration to decode the content in real time. The new 4K support is referenced by the fmt=38 mode in YouTube and that is something that you just might be interested to know if you are interested a bit more into the internal workings of YouTube. What I would recommend to do if you want to actually watch these videos comfortable is to download them on your computer and then watch them, and that is a must if you want to watch stereo 3D videos with 3D Vision anyway.

A few 2D videos in full 4K resolution currently available on YouTube…
YouTube Download Plugin for Greasemonkey with support for 4K (Original) videos…


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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 StarKnight // Jul 11, 2010 at 19:22

    IMHO this is the most useless thing YouTube did so far.
    Nobody but the Hollywood studios (which seems they don’t like YouTube much) have the possibility to record movies with such a resolutuion… on the other side compression on YouTube due to low bandwith is awful ! What’s the point of watching a 4K (or a FullHD stereo) movie with a speed of 4 or 5Mbps ? Compression is so high you could say it’s an upscaled SD movie !

  • 2 ReMichael // Jul 11, 2010 at 20:29

    What’s the point of watching a 4K 2d movie with a FullHD monitor/tv? Is home-downscaling better than youtubeserver-downscaling? :/

  • 3 Bloody // Jul 11, 2010 at 21:25

    That is precisely why it is more beneficial for Full HD stereo 3D videos than for 4K 2D videos. The bitrate for 4K videos or Full HD 3D videos used by YouTube is around 6-7Mbps, it is not perfect for all videos, but it should be enough for most to provide good quality. It is still better than around 4 megabits for 1080p squashed video in 3D… ;)

  • 4 fred // Jul 12, 2010 at 04:28

    I think those compmlaining about the quality are suffering from some kind of overlay/post processing failure. If its blocky in a strange way like nothings being filtered then its probably a rendering failure. I doubt most things are spec or tested for 4k compliance. If you look at the 1080p video you’ll notice even macro artifacts in those videos are smoothed over by your video renderer, if thats missing thats probably the issue..or one of the issues.

  • 5 John // Jul 13, 2010 at 07:47

    &fmt=38 is not working?

  • 6 venomon // Jul 14, 2010 at 03:30

    4K resolusion and yt3d:enable=true video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpSr0XGS05U

  • 7 Pete // Mar 3, 2012 at 00:48

    If there any side by side 3d video’s using this 4k format to test? My sony TV supports Youtube, But I think it will only do the 1080i and wont use the original 4k video.
    If I connect a 3D computer I might be able to get full HD 3D video off youtube.

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