Vimeo goes 4K

  • AFP
  • Updated: Dec 09, 2014 11:03 IST

Video-sharing site Vimeo now allows its pro users to offer content in ultra-high definition.

Unlike YouTube, which has been toying with clips streamed in the format since January, Vimeo is only allowing video uploads and downloads and says that the biggest reason behind the decision to support the new higher-resolution format is because an increasing number of its filmmakers are already shooting in 4K and uploading 4K films to the platform.

Until now, Vimeo has been transcoding videos shot in the format back down to HD so that they can be streamed or downloaded by the site's users. And while the company doesn't plan to offer 4K streaming until some point in 2015, after a successful trial, it is giving its Pro account holders the option of offering their films in the Video On Demand Store for free or paid download in the format.

In a blogpost announcing the new feature Naren Venkataraman said: "Creators have been able to upload in 4K for some time, but now these files can be downloaded and played on those fancy, 4K-compatible displays some of us are lucky enough to own."

The internet bandwidth required for buffer-free 4K streaming is greater than many internet service providers currently offer and despite growing interest and higher sales over 2014, 4K UHD TV sets are not exactly mainstream devices, even in the US and China.

However, an increasing number of computers and monitors are coming onto the market that can support the resolution, meaning that for the moment at least, downloading could well be the most sensible option for offering content, for the time being, at least.

Earlier this month, in an interview with Gigaom, Vimeo's CTO, Andrew Pile revealed that he had high hopes for Apple's first device that supports the format. "The new iMac is gonna be a turning point," he said.

As for sales of 4K UHD TVs, most analysts and consumer insight firms seem to agree that this holiday season could prove the turning point for the technology in US households and are anticipating that the sets will be extremely popular high-tech purchases in the closing weeks of the year.

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