A short while ago Chris Koehncke posed the question, “Is 4K video viable for a WebRTC web application?” He also offered a well-reasoned opinion. While there’s technical support for 4K in browsers, and 4K webcams are starting to appear, in various ways bandwidth remains a constraint. As a purely practical matter, and in the most common use case, he’s perfectly correct.
The folks over at the Red5Pro blog offer a mildly dissenting opinion. They note that for use-cases beyond video conferencing, most especially one-way streams, 4K is quite practical. People stream Netflix at 4K. Heck, I’ve done it myself at least once or twice.
The fact that they’re both right reminds us that generalizations are never a great idea. We apply technologies as solutions to specific problems. The problems faced in one instance may be quite different those felt elsewhere. Thus the solutions may be very different.
What I find curious is the presentation of the Red5Pro blog.
It’s quite small thin type, light grey against a white background. It’s got some serious legibility issues when viewed on a 23” 1080p monitor.
I had to zoom it up to 150% to be able to read the post!
While trying to make the case that higher resolution video is practical, their presentation actually works a lot better on a lower resolution display!