What the hell? YouTube is now supporting video resolution that's high enough to satisfy those persnickety cinematographers who shoot digital cinema? That resolution is called 4K, and at 4,096 x 3,072 pixels, it's way higher than the sharpest Blu-ray discs. But don't get too excited. Resolution isn't the only benchmark of quality, as a quick glance at these 4K files from YouTube will reveal.
First of all, you probably don't have a monitor that's capable of displaying this ultra high-resolution. This footage is captured using high-end digital cinema cameras with scary names such as Viper and Red One. Second, although the resolution might be more than 4,000 pixels wide, it's so highly compressed that you can see lots of blocky looking artifacts on board. Some clips look better than others.
As you may have guessed, this is more of a technological exercise than a practical application. It's called bragging rights, and now YouTube has them: "Now in 4K resolution!," the YouTubers might shout. Is it an improvement? Yes and no. It's the best-looking video YouTube's ever streamed, but there are still plenty of blocky blurs. Click on the video above (that'll take you to YouTube's site), and select the "original" resolution for these files and you'll see for yourself why resolution isn't everything.