Should you live stream in 4k?
That is a big question.
4k is possible, but should it be done?
What are the pros and the cons?
That is what we are going to discover today in this quick video.
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And if you are new, then you don’t know me. I’m Luria Petrucci from Live Streaming Pros where I help you create professional live video that is YOUniquely You™.
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So let’s talk about the pros and cons of 4k.
4k obviously provides the best possible quality that you can have in live streaming.
That is definitely something to consider.
If you’re looking for the best quality, then 4k is an option for you.
And when I go through all of these challenges and pros, I want you to go through thinking, what about for my particular scenario?
What do I care about?
There is no right answer
I would lean on…You’ll figure out where I lean, but there is no right answer.
You need to make this decision for you.
Next up, pro #2 is future proofing.
Of course, future proofing, as 720 moved into 1080. Then the people who were ahead of the game and already streaming in 1080 had a lot of high quality content already in existence.
Now, as we move from 1080 to 4k over time, the people who are streaming in 4k will have the higher quality content available.
Now, that also means that you’re kind of just ahead of the game, right?
So you have a catalog of content at 720… as 1080 goes the way of 720 then you will have that in existence and it does help future proof yourself and your channel.
#3 really just comes down to a badge of honor.
You can get a T-shirt that says, I stream in 4k. There is a reality to the badge of honor effect.
People love to say I stream in 4k yes, like I’m the best of the best.
Right. So those are the pros of streaming in 4k.
If you have any additional pros that you would like considered, go ahead and drop them in the comments I’d love to hear.
Now let’s talk about the challenges.
And because of these challenges you’re about to discover, I find it not really worth streaming in 4k and so that’s why I still stream in 1080.
But let me break it all down for you.
You do need more upload speed, so you need better Internet than you know you do with 1080.
You’re pushing a ton more data through those pipes. So to get to the so get 4k from your computer out to the Internet, you’re going to be looking at at least 50 megabits per second upload speed as opposed to ten to eight that you need with 1080.
So that’s something to consider.
And if you really want that solid quality without dropoffs, without buffering, I would highly recommend you go higher than that.
So that’s something to be very aware of.
Maybe you already have that. Maybe you would need to get it.
And challenge #2, you are going to need a beefier computer.
So any old MacBook Air is not going to stream really at 1080 very well anyway.
But even, you know, a MacBook may not be able to push that 4k.
So you need to look at the specs. You need to understand that you do need a beefier system ready to process that heavier load.
Next up, challenge #3, platform limitations.
Not every platform allows you to stream in 4k, so if you’re pushing out 4k, then it’s going to downgrade to 1080 anyway.
Now YouTube does allow 4k. There’s a caveat to that that we’ll talk about here in a second.
Facebook, you may or may not be able to. Some people can, some people can’t. Twitch is still at 1080 as well.
So if you’re streaming to a platform that doesn’t allow 4k, then that’s something to consider.
Is it even worth it?
And if you are to answer the question I see come up often is, you know, or if you’re streaming in 4k 60, which is pretty rare, then you might actually even if it’s downgraded, then you might be able to see a quality difference in 1080, but you’re not really going to see a difference too much difference in 4k, 30 frames per second.
So those are things to consider as platform limitations.
Challenge #4 longer latency.
So latency, when I say that, what I mean is the time I speak to the time you hear it there is that can be a variety of different times.
So on Facebook you’re looking at between 15 seconds and 45 seconds.
Currently, they don’t really have actually, no, I did see that they have low latency. I was playing around and I did find low latency. So they’re starting to push that out.
But they mostly, you know, you’re not you’re not getting a low latency signal with Facebook.
Twitch is really great. But if you’re streaming in 4k, that… Well you can’t on Twitch. And YouTube, if you have with YouTube, you have the option of a regular normal latency and then you have low latency and then you have ultra low latency.
Ultra low latency is really what you want when it comes to streaming, because you can have a conversation with your audience and Q&A section.
As soon as I get done with this training, I’m going to be having a almost real time conversation.
The longer the latency, the longer that takes for you to ask a question, for them to respond and for you to then respond to that. So with 4k, you are not allowed to stream in low latency.
Some of you have been around during my countdown timers when I accidentally streamed before it because I record in 4k and sometimes I forget to hit that setting change.
And I always because I set my streams up for ultra low latency, I always have this big buffering effect and it’s and it’s not a good experience for the viewer.
So we have to kill the stream and we have to go out again.
That’s what happens when you try to stream an ultra low latency with 4k, so that’s something to consider.
On YouTube, they do real time captioning, but if you’re streaming in 4k, that is a no go.
And finally, challenge #6, some viewers, not all, but some viewers might only be able to watch your stream in 2k, 1440.
And then after the fact of the replay will be available in 4k but you may not actually be streaming.
And 4k to everybody, even if you’re streaming in 4k they may not see that.
So that is something also to consider.
So as you can see, you have a lot of different pros and challenges with 4k like I said at the beginning, there is no one right answer.
I lean on the side of not a great idea for all of those different challenges, but as time goes on, that might actually change.
For now, right here in 2021, 2022. We are not really recommending that, but you got to make the call for you. Right.
Are there reasons that you say to heck with the challenges, I’m going for it.
Do you want that badge of honor, that T-shirt that says I stream in 4k.
Let me know in the comments.
Tell me what your decision is 4k or no. All right.
And if you want to learn more about pushing the highest quality, well, that comes from lighting and from your studio setup.
So go ahead and check out this playlist to learn more about how to light your videos so that you get a higher looking quality video.
And I’ll see you over there.