If you have a semi new TV then you know what HD looks like and are familiar with terms like 1080p and 720p in regards to the resolution\definition of the picture. And if you watch YouTube videos you most likely know that most videos have the option to watch in HD assuming the uploader recorded the video in HD to begin with. Most of the time switching to HD makes quite a difference in picture quality but can sometimes cause slower performance and lagging with the video itself.
The latest and greatest video quality standard is called 4k and it offers higher resolution and has 4 times higher resolution than 1080p. YouTube has announced that they will be offering 4k video support for YouTube videos in the near future. But Google will be using their own codec that they have been developing called VP9 which is a royalty free codec and an alternative to the H.265 video codec used by other 4k implementations.
Google has partnered up with other companies such as LG and Sony to help kickoff the VP9 codec and they have 19 partners lined up pledging to support the new V9 codec. Google has said that they are not opposed to supporting the H.26 codec and don’t want to start a codec war. By using this new codec Google says you will not only have better quality video it will also reduce the amount of data needed to stream video by half which will help with the dreaded buffering we are all used to.