Hulu Launches Ultra HD, YouTube Supports 4K Live Streaming

Hulu has joined Netflix and Amazon in offering select titles in 4K. Subscribers with a Microsoft Xbox One S or Sony PlayStation 4 Pro console (and a minimum connection speed of 13 megabits per second) can now enjoy James Bond films and original Hulu series in the Ultra HD format. Netflix and Amazon also offer select high dynamic range content. Meanwhile, YouTube — which first introduced 4K support to its video-sharing site in 2010 — is now bringing the same capability to live streaming of 4K and 360 videos. The feature should help the site compete with Facebook and Twitter in the live streaming space.

According to Variety, the Hulu originals available in 4K “include ‘11.22.63,’ starring James Franco as a history teacher who goes back in time to try to stop the JFK assassination; ‘The Path,’ about a family that becomes caught up in a cult-like religious movement and Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan; ‘Chance,’ a psychological thriller starring Hugh Laurie; and ‘Shut Eye,’ a dark comedy about L.A. storefront psychics starring Jeffrey Donovan.”

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Additionally, Hulu subscribers can now enjoy 20 James Bond films from MGM.

For YouTube, the upgrade to higher-quality video could provide the site with “an edge in the growing market for live streaming, where rivals like Facebook and Twitter (via Periscope) also compete,” reports TechCrunch. “Facebook Live publishers can stream up to 720p at 30 fps, for example. And while Periscope is generally used from your smartphone, its pro software Periscope Producer also allows for 720p at 30 fps.”

However, YouTube supports 4K video streaming up to 60 fps, which could give it a significant advantage. It also recently introduced HDR support, although viewers will need an HDR-ready television.