"Ghost Towns" is the first 8K video on YouTube

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

One of our informal real-world performance tests when reviewing a new desktop or notebook is monitoring how well it can handle a 4K video on YouTube. It may not sound all that impressive but the truth is, many systems struggle to play the clip without serious lag.

Now, we’ve learned that 8K videos have started to appear on the popular video sharing website.

As 9to5Google points out, YouTube has technically supported 8K video since 2010 but labeling (4320p/8K) was added only earlier this year. Regardless, the first clip is now here and, well, you’ll need a monster of a system to view it properly.

Ghost Towns” was filmed using a RED Epic Dragon 6K camera in portrait orientation. To become a true 8K clip, some scenes were upscaled / stitched together using Adobe After Effects. There are very few native 8K cameras available and it won’t be until later this year that most start to trickle down to consumers.

With 8K, YouTube – and the industry in general – finds itself in the middle of a “chicken and egg” dilemma. If there’s no 8K content, people will be less inclined to buy the hardware necessary to support its playback. Similarly, without the hardware to watch it, content creators have little reason to produce mega resolution videos.

Is your computer able to watch the new 8K clip at decent frame rates? If so, let us know what sort of hardware you’re running in the comments section below.

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fimbles

TS Evangelist
The old phenom 965 becomes a stuttering mess at 8k though has no trouble at all with 4.

My real question was why does this happen? My monitor only displays in 1080p, So a higher setting seems pointless, Yet there is a huge increase in cpu load and the picture quality seemed better?

Did a little research and came up with chroma subsampling.

Nice video here
 

rvnwlfdroid

TS Booster
If the video consists of a little spinning circle then it looks great. If not then my system is telling me "cough cough, not going to happen"
 
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Puiu

TS Evangelist
The old phenom 965 becomes a stuttering mess at 8k though has no trouble at all with 4.

My real question was why does this happen? My monitor only displays in 1080p, So a higher setting seems pointless, Yet there is a huge increase in cpu load and the picture quality seemed better?

Did a little research and came up with chroma subsampling.

Nice video here
Even if your monitor resolution is lower, you still are pushing the same massive amounts of data.
As for how well it looks, it depends on the video itself. When youtube encodes the videos to lower resolutions you will notice a big lose of details compared to the original. (going from 8k to 1080p for example)
Also displaying a high resolution video on a smaller monitor can help increase the percieved video quality. The affect is similar to supersampling in games. (note that sometimes it can affect the quality in a negative way)

Chroma subsampling is used to reduce the size of an image (less bytes) by reducing the color information (less resolution for chroma information than for luma information). Because of how the human eye works, you can end up with a very similar in quality video or image but a reduced files size (it is one of the many algorithms youtube uses to reduce the files size of the videos uploaded).
 
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For me the video is unwatchable (i5 760 + GTX 760 + 8GB RAM). In 4k it plays fine. I think the problem is not only my hardware but the efficiency of the decoder used in the browser.
 

Claudio Saitta

TS Rookie
It plays fine with an i7 4790 + Gtx 970 + 16 GB DDR3, on a Full HD monitor... the only problem is that I see a lot of aliasing
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
It plays fine with an i7 4790 + Gtx 970 + 16 GB DDR3, on a Full HD monitor... the only problem is that I see a lot of aliasing
it is normal to see aliasing when playing high resolution videos on smaller screens. it's mostly because the image is not downscaled properly
 

Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
For me the video is unwatchable (i5 760 + GTX 760 + 8GB RAM). In 4k it plays fine. I think the problem is not only my hardware but the efficiency of the decoder used in the browser.
I think this is the answer, it's not actually the beast you require, but more of an un-optimized codec. Just maybe. Not 100% certain.
 

tomkaten

TS Maniac
Perfectly watchable, fluent. The definition is amazing. (can't really see much of a difference switching from 4k to 8k, perhaps a better monitor would help).

Xeon E3-1230 v3, 1 Gbps internet, Chrome latest version with Magic Actions for Youtube, with prebuffering enabled, buffers it in real time no problem.
 

Adhmuz

TechSpot Paladin
Tried watching it on a 4:3 at work, 4K works surprisingly well on this system, i5-4590, 8GB Ram, integrated graphics. 8K is unplayable, but it was expected given the state of decoder technology in these early days of 8K.
 
G

Guest

On dell with duo core 2.8 it was less then 10fps with 1080 and the sound stuttered if I picked 1440 or higher and if I pick 8k I just saw black with a circle but the sound was there
 
G

Gopal Bhat

I7 5820K @ 4.2GHz + 16GB DDR4 + GTX 980 + Dell 5K Monitor.

Handles it perfectly :)

Although I have to say it doesn't look as good as I thought it would. Probably down to YouTube's compression. Is there a downloadable file?
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
Perfectly watchable, fluent. The definition is amazing. (can't really see much of a difference switching from 4k to 8k, perhaps a better monitor would help).

Xeon E3-1230 v3, 1 Gbps internet, Chrome latest version with Magic Actions for Youtube, with prebuffering enabled, buffers it in real time no problem.
for 8K, anything smaller than 27 inches is just a waste of pixels. (27 is actually better for 4K)
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
for 8K, anything smaller than 27 inches is just a waste of pixels.
My opinion would be 60 inches, and willing to raise the value to 80 inches for my preference. Anything higher PPI and we cross a line into nitpicking for the hell of it. 30 inches and willing to raise the value to 40 inches for my preference is where I stand at 4K.
 
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Puiu

TS Evangelist
My opinion would be 60 inches, and willing to raise the value to 80 inches for my preference. Anything higher PPI and we cross a line into nitpicking for the hell of it. 30 inches and willing to raise the value to 40 inches for my preference is where I stand at 4K.
I agree, but for PC's you won't see many large monitors (40+ inches) and I also prefer multiple monitors to just 1 big one.