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The 8K YouTube video you almost certainly can’t watch

The first 8K footage arrives on YouTube - but will anyone be able to watch it?

YouTube has begun hosting 8K video on its website – even though the vast, vast majority of people won’t have a screen with sufficient resolution to watch it. The 7,680 × 4,320 video clip stretches the definition of even Ultra High Definiton, at 16 times the resolution of Full HD footage.

YouTube has reportedly supported the staggeringly high resolution since way back in 2010, according to 9to5 Google. However, only this week did the first video appear with the 8K tag. 

The video, called Ghost Towns, was reportedly shot using the Red Epic Dragon 6K camera. To achieve the 8K resolution, parts of the footage were shot in portrait orientation and stitched together using Adobe After Effects. (The amount of processing power and time it would take to stitch together that footage makes us weep.) Other parts of the footage were simply upscaled. 

You can choose the 8K option from the YouTube video embedded above, but unless you’ve got one of the highest spec screens on the planet, there’s little point. The highest resolution iMac is only 5,120 x 2,880 (5K), although LG showed off 8K prototype televisions at this year’s CES conference in Las Vegas. You would also need one hell of a graphics card to push around that many pixels at an acceptable frame rate. 

The prospect of 8K broadcasts are more distant than a Liberal Democrat government. BT yesterday announced it would be delivering a 4K set-top box in August, with Sky and Virgin Media soon expected to follow suit.

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