When would I need a 4K live streaming encoder?

4K streaming (and even 8K) comes into play on the other end of the spectrum.

Content distributors prioritising ultra-high-definition video will need an HD live streaming encoder capable of producing source streams with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

While sharper than 1080p, these high-bitrate streams are resource-intensive and costly to distribute. For that reason, you’ll want to be sure that 4K UHD is a business need and not a nice-to-have that lacks any real ROI.

Beyond your 4K live streaming encoder, you’ll also need a 4K camera or higher, a transcoding service capable of ingesting and egressing 4K video, and a HTML5 player that supports 4K playback. Your viewers will also need 4K playback devices to benefit from these efforts. Finally, both broadcasters and end-users will require high-speed internet for these types of streams.

But back to the question at hand: What types of broadcasts warrant 4K HD video? We can’t provide clear-cut criteria. In general, though, the following video streams are best suited for 4K encoding:

  • High-production value content like live sports events
  • Immersive experiences like virtual reality (VR) and gaming
  • Cinematic content for over-the-top (OTT) distribution

Check out our 4K streaming customer spotlight on the Brazilian broadcaster Globo.