YouTube Live Updates: 1440p, VP9, Captions

This week at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference, there are many talks about how broadcasters and content creators can better manage their shows in a digital-first world. SeaChange already gave a talk about the services they offer for broadcasters.

YouTube has also made several announcements that should be beneficial to broadcasters who are creating live content. At the conference, and echoed in a blog post, they discuss these new features. One thing already announced was support for 360 degree live streaming.

1440p Streaming

The resolution of our devices continues to grow, and that means so do our videos. While YouTube has already supported 1440p (2560×1440, also known as WQHD or 2K), streaming has only been restricted to 1080p. With this latest announcement, users will be able to stream live in a much larger resolution.

A larger resolution means a better Internet connection. While connection speeds are improving, the ability to stream videos of this size up or down can still be daunting and full of buffering. To reduce connection issues, YouTube is also now supporting VP9 encoding and DASH streaming out of the box for streams. This has benefits for game developers who may want to integrate a simple streaming protocol into their game without having to pay royalties for a proprietary codec.

Embedded Captions

YouTube live captions
When you watch TV, even live TV, you can toggle closed captioning and get subtitles for everything that is said. When the video is broadcast, the captions are embedded in the stream and that makes it easy to turn it on or off instantly. For live streams on YouTube, broadcasters can now use that same format for captions rather than having to re-encode the captions as a separate format.

Overall, these changes should make YouTube more palatable and convenient for broadcasters to upload their videos either with ads or through YouTube Red. Having this high level of video player support should allow more content to come to YouTube while benefiting the viewers.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub ( Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop. Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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