YouTube added support for 8K videos back in 2015 – long before 8K cameras or TVs were easily accessible. Five years later, flagship smartphones can shoot video in that resolution and there are some 8K TVs that, while pricey, are not completely out of reach.
So, this update to the YouTube for Android TV app is a bit late, but better late than never. The changelog says that the new version adds “limited 8K support to Android 10 and up”. It’s not clear what “limited” means, but if you have a smart TV running Android 10 you can give it a shot.
Here is probably the first 8K video to be uploaded to YouTube, it seems a fitting video to watch first. Even if you don’t have an 8K TV, the extra bandwidth should result in better image quality.
YouTube for Android TV v2.12.08 changelog
- Display YouTube Music splash screen
- Cast Connect support
- Limited 8K support to Android 10 and up
- Improved resolution selection
- Fixed incorrect date and time issues
- Various other platform improvements
The new app also adds support for Cast Connect. This is an enhancement of the original protocol, which makes it easier for developers to build Cast-enabled apps. The apps can be controlled using the TV’s remote, making for a more native experience. The interface to pick a resolution has been improved as well.
Anyway, an early version of the changelog also mentioned AV1 HDR playback, however that has since been removed (and Cast Connect was added). The YouTube for Android TV added AV1 support in April of this year, but it seems that work on HDR is still ongoing.