YouTube has been quietly working on ratcheting up the quality of the videos hosted on the site. Tech Crunch reports that the site recently began allowing 60 FPS video playback and is now testing playback at 4K.
“The catch? It’s just something of an experiment, for now, and is limited to a reaaally tight batch of clips,” the report notes. The article adds: “The very vast majority of videos on YouTube aren’t shot at anywhere near this resolution/framerate yet, anyway. Cameras capable of shooting 4k/60FPS footage aren’t impossible to find, but they’re generally crazy expensive and are far from the standard.”
One reason the initiative remains in the experimental stages, the report notes, is because many users’ computers can’t take advantage of the higher resolution.
“You’ll need a display capable of handling 3840×2160 to take advantage of the resolution to begin with — but if the rig behind the display isn’t up to snuff, these videos will look way worse than they usually do,” the article reports. “On a brand new Retina iMac, they’re mindbendingly beautiful. On my one-year old MacBook Air? They’re a chunky, choppy mess.”
Only a few videos are currently a part of the 4K60FPS tryout — you can click here to find YouTube’s playlist.
Here’s a sample, showing the eruption of the Sinabung volcano in Indonesia in January 2014: