Published on January 6th, 2014 | by Andy Eldridge0
YouTube to show off low-bandwidth 4K streaming
Ultra HD (or 4K) is predicted to be the future of TV. But, for this extra high quality format to get there, we first need a wealth of native content available. YouTube has already uploaded some 4K videos, and they look really good. However there’s still a long way to go, partially because 4K content isn’t cheap to create, but also because it requires a high speed connection to distribute.
H.265 is the well-known video codec that supports 4K. And, as you’d expect, all that extra video quality can can result in some very large file sizes. Google has recognised this problem, and has created an alternative 4K video format that promises to use substantially less data than the current H.265 codec.
It’s called VP9 and it’s going to be first used on YouTube. Other video providers will be able to use this format too, and the first TVs supporting Google’s new format should launch in 2015. Google’s already got the support of several hardware manufacturers including Intel, ARM, Samsung and Sharp.
The obvious benefit of VP9 is that users should be able to stream ultra HD content without buffering or lengthy load times. With VP9, even existing video data demands should be cut in half. “By 2015, you’ll be surprised every time you see that spinning wheel,” said Francisco Varela, global director of platform partnerships at YouTube, told Gigaom in an interview.