Vimeo Begins 4K Video Streaming on Top of Download

Mike Wheatley

Vimeo has finally followed in the footsteps of YouTube, and is allowing 4K videos to be streamed directly from its servers to your PC, and perhaps other internet-connected devices like Smart TVs and Roku devices in the future.

4K video

The feature was implemented secretly by Vimeo, and was first discovered by filmmaker Philip Bloom and his buddy James Miller, who revealed that it’s now possible to both download and stream content in 4K Ultra HD resolution. The pair stumbled upon the discovery after uploading some of their own test footage to Vimeo, only to find that they were able to stream it from the site in 4K resolution. After a few more tests, they happily announced to the world that Vimeo was a 4K-capable streaming platform.

The feature hasn’t been thoroughly implemented yet though. According to Bloom, 4K streaming can only be enabled after adjusting the preset settings, and it only seems to work with newly uploaded 4K content. Older ultra high-def content that’s been previously been uploaded still only streams in boring old HD resolution.

Vimeo has since acknowledged the news in this blog post, hinting that the implementation of 4K streaming will be done in stages. It says: “creators can now choose to offer a 4K-download option for people who buy their titles. What’s more, all Vimeo PRO members who upload videos in 4K can offer viewers this highest-res download option.”

Vimeo previously teased us with the forthcoming availability of 4K streaming in a blog post last December:

“While downloads of 4K source files were always available, we’re transcoding in 4K now and allowing downloads of those transcodes. In other words, PRO users upload in 4K and we transcode the video into 4K – and the 4K videos you upload now will be ready when we enable 4K playback on-site.”

For now, it’s unclear when full adoption and support for 4K will be rolled out, nor is it known if the option will be free or for premium users only. In any case, it’s encouraging news for 4K aficionados, and yet another indication that ultra high-definition (UHD) is slowly moving into the mainstream. Vimeo wraps up its latest blog post by saying this year is “going to be a good one”, with the promise of more exciting updates later in the year.