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Vimeo opens the door for 4K UHD video, but no streaming yet

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Video hosting site Vimeo announced today that Vimeo PRO users, and those selling movies on the company’s video-on-demand service will be able to make 4K UHD-quality video available for download. However, the site does not yet allow for 4K UHD video streaming as of yet.

Vimeo has not indicated if it will increase its $199 yearly subscription rate to adjust for 4K UHD downloading, and the pricing page for Vimeo PRO had not been updated to include the ability for downloading the massive files at time of publication.

In a recent interview, Vimeo’s chief technical officer Andrew Pile explained Vimeo’s decision to hold off on 4K streaming for now, saying “there is no affordable streaming device capable of 4K playback, and few people have a 4K monitor for their desktop computer.” Pile did predict the new iMac, with its 5K retina display, will be “a turning point” in the emergence of more 4K-capabale hardware.

In contrast, Vimeo’s gargantuan rival YouTube entered the 4K streaming arena earlier this year using the new, royalty-free VP9 format. Facing similar hardware limitations in the current crop of mobile devices and computers, YouTube decided to aim its 4K initiative at the television market, working with Samsung, LG, Sony and others to develop VP9-capable TVs, as opposed to the more common decoding technology for 4K UHD TVs now on the market, HEVC (h.265).

The 4K streaming business is still new and no standard market rate has been established as an assortment of services offer varying prices. Netlfix added an extra $3 to its monthly subscription price in October after introducing 4K streaming, with August 12, 2016 as the date when the charges will come in effect.  Amazon, on the other hand, has stated it will not charge Amazon Prime members more than the $99/month for its 4K video streaming service, which is expected to launch at anytime.

Slowly but surely, the 4K UHD universe is expanding, and Vimeo’s new offer provides one more way to ride the Ultra HD wave.

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