Today at the VidCon 2010 conference, we announced support for videos shot in 4K, meaning that now we support original video resolution from 360p all the way up to 4K. 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.
We always want videos on YouTube to be available in the highest quality possible, as creators intend. In December of last year, we announced support for 1080p, or full HD. At 4096 x 2304 pixels, 4K is over four times the size of 1080p. To view any video in a source resolution greater than 1080p, select "Original" in the video quality pulldown menu:
To illustrate the power of 4K, please check out the videos in this playlist; each one was created by a filmmaker with access to a 4K camera. (Be warned: watching videos in 4K, even on YouTube, will require ultra-fast high-speed broadband connections).
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.
We're excited about this latest step in the evolution of online video. We've been impressed by the 1080p videos you've uploaded over the last seven months and can't wait to see (in 4K!) what you do next.
Ramesh Sarukkai, YouTube Engineer, recently watched "New Dad State of Mind."
UPDATE (7/10/2010): Thanks to those of you who pointed out a few errors in the technical specifications in this post. We've corrected them and look forward to more of your feedback!