YouTube goes 4K: Cats on skateboards in enormovision, Vimeo not too bothered

YouTube now supports enormous 4K videos -- as far as we can tell it's just to annoy Vimeo

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm

YouTube now supports enormous 4K videos, heaven knows why. The video streaming site, in what can only be described as a display of audio-visual genital-measuring, is streaming video four times the size of HD.

Videos can now be streamed at sizes up to 4,096x3,072 pixels, roughly four times the size of high-definition 1080p and twice the size of IMAX. For that size, video has to be recorded on a specialist camera such as the Red One beloved of Che and The Girlfriend Experience director Steven Soderbergh.

As of today there are five videos in the 4K Resolution playlist. You can watch them now -- simply set the resolution to 'original' in the video footer, but apart from being a bit choppier they won't look much different to hi-def video. We've embedded Surf NYC, directed by Adam Neustadter, for your YouTubular pleasure.

The videos can only be fully enjoyed by people with 150-inch 4K plasmas, setups similar to those found in our round-up of the most ludicrous AV setups ever, or perhaps their own cinema. Not pointless at all, then.

The increased resolution does point the way towards opening YouTube to filmmakers for ever-more cinematic endeavours than cats on skateboards or hilarious tech spoofs. That, and it probably annoys the hoity-toity fancypants over at Vimeo.