To be able to see the videos in all their glory, you will need a display that is capable of handling ultra high definition resolutions up to 4k (3840 x 2160) and a hefty enough GPU that you can output at that detail at 60 frames per second. While desktop graphics cards shouldn’t have a problem, systems with integrated graphics may struggle. You will also need a quick Internet connection, though the reason Youtube is now testing these videos is because the bandwidth required is now at least reasonable.
Looking at the videos available, this is quite a limited trial at the moment, featuring a variety of unrelated content like a music video from Korean pop group Secret and a clip of pyroclastic flows on mount Sinabung. The inclusion of some Star Citizen gameplay makes a bit more sense, as part of its appeal has been native support for high resolutions, all the way up to 8K.
In our own trial of the videos, we found them to be pretty smooth and preferable to the standard 30 FPS 4k videos that can be found elsewhere on the site. However, they weren’t perfect and did stutter occasionally, so YouTube still has some work to do before making this a finalized feature. It is also worth pointing out the videos only work in Chrome. Visiting them with other browsers results in 1080p playback at best.
If we were speculating, we might suggest that the reason YouTube is so keen to nail down 4K video at a solid frame rate is because Google is looking to compete head to head with Twitch, the world’s most popular game streaming service.
If you want to be ready the moment YouTube adds more 4k 60 FPS videos to the site, you can keep an eye on the official playlist here.