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4k!!! It’s the biggest thing in film. Except now there is 6k and even 8k (although noone is spending £10,000 for it yet). But what does all of this mean, and how much should you pay for. My suggestion is regular 1080 HD for Youtube and company websites, and here’s why.

Let’s try to break some of this down. The picture on a screen is made up of millioms of little dots called pixels. The number of pixels are expressed as resolution. Resolution consists of 2 numbers. The K in 4K resolution is the first number and represents the number of pixels that run across each row of a screen to make a picture. The number is not exactly 4,000 and is 3,840 for UHD and 4,096 for true 4K. The second number shows how many lines of pixels are on the screen. For example 4096 X 2160 is actually 2,160 rows of 4,096 pixels. The more pixels in an area the more detail that displays.

Okay now what do all of these numbers mean to you. Unfortunatley I am going to have to get just a little more geeky and explain Bandwidth. To put it simply bandwidth carries information (data) over the internet. Bandwidth is like a pipeline and information (data) is like water. So the bigger the pipe the more water can flow through. If too much info goes through, the pipe fills up. Too much info for bandwidth causes pausing when streaming video (buffering).

Finally the nuts and bolts. 4K video is a lot of info to stream. Because of this it will buffer when people try to watch it. As we all know noone wants to watch a buffering video. Simply put this will likely cause people to leave your site without considering your service. So using 2k and 4K is actually not a good idea if your video is for an online platform like YouTube or a website. Because even YouTube is going to run slow at 4k unless your customer is subscribed to YouTube Red or YouTube TV.

You want to capture your audience and not lose them. For this 1080 is the best choice for streaming over the web. Now you can record in 4K and optimize it for streaming. Optimizing strips a video of what makes it 4K by reducing pixel size or diminishing colors. This means you are paying for a 4k video that the world will never see. If you are going to stream it in 4K to show at your place of business then its a good investment. But other than that if it is not for the big screen or a television commercial, paying for 4K video is not a savvy business investment.

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