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Vimeo Quietly Introduces 4K Streaming!

Not quite in full effect just yet but out of the blue it appears that Vimeo is slowly implementing 4K streaming capability. It is a feature which has been hinted at and many have been waiting for. Philip Bloom and James Miller break it down.

The trend towards 4K is undeniable and last month Vimeo announced that it was becoming a 4K capable platform. According to Vimeo themselves this is what we heard:

While downloads of 4K source files were always available, we're transcoding in 4K now and allowing downloads of those transcodes. In other words, PRO users upload in 4K and we transcode the video into 4K - and the 4K videos you upload now will be ready when we enable 4K playback on-site.

The key there being when they enable 4K playback. Nobody knew quite when that would be.

Then suddenly a few days ago James Miller who was shooting some test footage with the Atomos 4K recorder and Sony a7s reported that his uploaded footage was now streaming in 4K! After some testing between himself and Philip Bloom, they feel confident in reporting that Vimeo now supports 4K streaming, but it isn't without some hoops for the time being. This is what they have to say:

At the moment there are a number of specific settings you to need to make this work and it only works on new uploads. Anything that’s already uploaded in 4k will need to be re-uploaded to take advantage of 4k streaming. [...] The example films were transcoded/rendered using Adobe Media Encoder in H.264 (.mp4 container) using the 5.2 Profile to allow 3840×2160 resolution to be input. A CBR (constant bitrate ) of around 120Mbps was selected. I have found if the film is longer than 3 mins you can select a lower bitrate for encoding, around 60Mbps. But to play safe keep at 120Mbps if you can afford the upload space and transfer time.

Vimeo 4K Upload Settings

At the moment we don't know when full adoption and support will begin, as well as whether this will be a premium option.

via [Philip Bloom]

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3 Comments

Dr. Dominik Muench's picture

I could have sworn H264 doesn't support 4K resolution. sure its not supposed to be the new H265 or apple ProRes ?

Stephen Strangways's picture

Level 5.1 and 5.2 of H.264 support 4K:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC#Levels

After all, the Panasonic GH4 records 4K H.264 in-camera to SD cards.

Dr. Dominik Muench's picture

schweeet, gotta give this a try, time to upgrade ye olde vimeo membership ^^