Remember when owning an HDTV was a big thing? Well, that’s well in the past now. The new trend among big screen televisions and PC monitors is going up to 4K resolution. This week, YouTube quietly put in some new video options that allow users to watch some clips in 2160p.
Viewing videos in 4K is nothing new for YouTube; as HDTVtest points out, the website has supported uploads of such clips since 2010. However, in order to set the video up for 4K viewing, the options menu had to be set to “Original” so that the clip could run past the 1080p setting. That’s not the case anymore. If a video that’s been uploaded to the site supports either 4096×2160 or 3840×2160, the menu now shows the new 2160p 4K setting at the very top.
There’s also a 1440p setting that\’s been added as a menu option, perhaps to give users a way to go beyond the typical 1080p display.
YouTube and its parent company Google are clearly preparing the site for what is expected to be an explosion of 4K video content in 2014. More and more televisions are coming out that support the higher resolution. The new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One console both support 4K videos, although 4K games are still a ways away. Microsoft built a 120 inch 4K TV as part of its Envisioning Center technology demo showcase in Seattle. Then there’s Panasonic’s long awaited 4K 20 inch Windows 8.1 tablet, which should be released in February. Add it all up and it looks like 4K will be everywhere in the next 12 months.