As of June 10th 2015, YouTube has officially begun the hosting and playback support of 8K “Full Ultra” HD Video. Initial reports suggest smooth playback in Google Chrome, however, there are a few reported issues with other browsers.
The first public video uploaded to YouTube is GHOST TOWNS.
The video was shot in ‘6K’ with the RED Weapon camera.
The video was recorded with the camera in portrait orientation and the frames were then stitched together using Adobe Aftereffects to create an 8K Video.
Before we jump the gun and start drawing conclusions, lets first consider-
A true 8K camera does not exist as of yet, that allows the capability to shoot and record in 8K. The above-mentioned RED Weapon will be upgraded to 8K by early next year.
8K technology as a whole is still somewhere in the future. The industry has not as of yet implemented 4K effectively and entirely. YouTube’s allowing of 8K playback is also keeping the future in mind. There are a few simple things we should consider first, a) There is no widely available 8K camera available as of yet; and more importantly; b) A proper 8k viewing device is not available to consumers easily. The only 8K device on the market as of now is the 110inch 8K TV by SHARP. Most common high res devices are the 5K iMac or 4K televisions from Sony. If you played back this video on these devices, you would only be playing back half of the recorded resolution. More importantly as per YouTube’s own data, half of its traffic is from mobile devices, and 4K screens are still a distant reality for mobiles and tablets.
Then ofcourse there is the issue of internet bandwidth to be resolved first before we can start streaming such content. I personally had major issue playing back this video on my Retina MacBook Pro on my 10Mbps Internet connection.
This implementation by Youtube is more of a longterm strategy and some short term market posturing there are many more industry wide factors such as the ones that I listed above that should be considered before even start accepting this as a future possibility.