With an up-to-date Android or iOS device, YouTube users can now play back videos at 60 frames per second. Google-owned YouTube rolled out the HFR (high-frame-rate) option for desktop devices last fall, and expanded that to live streaming in May.
For now, though, HFR live streaming remains available only on desktops, not on mobile devices.
YouTube said 60 fps videos provide "silky smooth playback," especially for video games and other fast-action videos. The video site also supports HFR for 4K videos, although the 4K standard is not yet supported by all television sets and desktop monitors, much less by mobile devices and smartphones.
'An Immersive World'
The latest 60 fps news was announced in a brief post on the YouTube Creators site on Google Plus. Accompanying the post was a link to a YouTube video showing HFR in action in a PlayStation 4 walkthrough from the videogame "Far Cry 4: Valley of the Yetis."
"We know high frame rates are especially important for gaming streams, so we've worked with Elgato and XSplit on new versions of Elgato Game Capture, XSplit Broadcaster, and XSplit Gamecaster that support 60 fps live streaming to YouTube," Product Manager Alan Joyce said announcing the availability of HFR live streaming on YouTube in May. "In addition, any app using our live streaming API can add a new high frame rate flag to enable 60 fps streaming."
In a YouTube blog post on Monday, Vice President of Product Management Matt Glotzback listed 10 more updates that will be coming soon for YouTube creators, including an updated and faster Creator Studio app; improved mobile video management; changes to comments and subscriber notifications; and more virtual reality-type video technology.
"We recently added 360-degree video on YouTube, and we're working on adding 3D to the mix," Glotzback said. "Get ready for an immersive world."
Gamers vs. Film Fans
The faster 60 fps rate gives videos a smoother, more realistic look as opposed to the "cinematic" look delivered by the 24 fps standard used in motion pictures. Video game players tend to enjoy the more lifelike 60 fps look, although many filmgoers have yet to accept higher speed frame rates.
Many movie fans, for example, criticized film director Peter Jackson's decision to film the three most recent "Hobbit" sequels in 48 fps. A common complaint was that the smoother, faster rate film speeds gave the movies a soap opera-like look familiar to TV viewers. For movie traditionalists, the "Hobbit" films were also available in the standard 24 fps version.
Director James Cameron also reportedly plans to use HFR for his coming sequel to the movie "Avatar," however, that would require movie theaters to upgrade their equipment. HFR filming also generates far more data. For instance, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" required managing "four times the data of a normal feature," according to the New Zealand-based post-production company Park Road Post.