While there are a number of 8K TVs with Android TV support, standard Android TV boxes were capped at 4K when streaming YouTube content — even if higher resolution videos are available on the platform.

8K video streaming support is now rolling out in a limited fashion for Android TV with YouTube for Android TV version 2.12.08 according to guys over at Android Police. As we have said, this is a very limited rollout as you’ll need to be running Android 10 and above to even see the option.

If you don’t have an 8K TV you can still benefit from downscaling, when watching such high-resolution content on lower-resolution displays. That said, streaming a ton of 8K YouTube videos to your Android TV set-top boxes could really hammer your data cap — provided you have a cap. Let’s hope that H.266 video encoding comes soon, as the enhanced bitrate-to-quality benefits would really help when consuming such high-resolution content online.

Weirdly, there appears to be a couple of changelogs. The initial changelog removed mention of HDR support with the .av1 codec. It looks to have been replaced with Cast Connect support, which means that a stream is handled and displayed by the related app already installed on your Android TV device. For example, if you Cast a show from a streaming service on your phone, that service’s Android TV app will play it.

This is meant to “combine Cast with Android TV to bring your app to the modern Cast experience.” It allows for expanded control, including being able to use a hardware remote and gives you greater control over your screen resolution.

Original changelog:

  • 8K video playback support
  • AV1 HDR playback support
  • Improved network performance on some devices
  • Fixed font issues on some devices
  • Fixed issue that black screen is shown on initial launch
  • Various other platform improvements

Updated 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

As we mentioned, even if you grab the YouTube 2.12.08 update for Android TV you still might not be able to view 8K video content on your device. Should you have the option on your device, be sure to let us know what you’re using down in the comments section below. You can try your luck by downloading the app from the Google Play Store.

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