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YouTube Now Streaming 8K Video on 8K TVs with AV1 Support

May 8, 2020 Rasmus Larsen

YouTube 8K on 8K TVs

YouTube has flipped the switch on not only AV1 streaming for TVs but also 8K streaming via AV1. It means that you can now enjoy YouTube’s 8K videos on compatible 8K TVs.

LG and Samsung’s 2020 8K models are the first TVs to support AV1 hardware decoding. Below you see YouTube 8K (60fps) streaming to an LG 2020 8K LCD TV (NANO95 range). Yesterday, TCL said that its new X915 8K TV will also support YouTube 8K via AV1 but that an update to Android 10 (scheduled for later this year) will be required to enable it. Philips has told FlatpanelsHD that it is committed to AV1, too.

The video shown here is the ‘Bulgaria 8K’ demo from Jacob and Katie Schwarz who have also made other showcase videos available.

What is AV1? It is the new royalty-free video codec and format developed by the Alliance for Open Media, which unites heavyweights like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Intel, Netflix, LG, Microsoft, Netflix, and Samsung. AV1 has the potential to bring 4K HDR to far more devices and streaming services. At CES 2020 in January, YouTube confirmed that AV1 support is required to stream 8K videos on 8K TVs, even though its 8K videos are available through PC browsers in other formats.

YouTube is the first major streaming provider to offer video in 8K on 8K TVs. There is a good selection of showcase and user-generated videos available but no movies or TV shows. No major subscription streaming services like Amazon Prime or Netflix have announced plans to offer content in 8K.

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