Talk about massaging your retinas. After debuting 1080p video last December (with the Muppets channel) YouTube today announced support for video playback in the file's source resolution, up to a 4K cap. That means filmmakers can upload content shot with 2K or 4K cameras (no, you can't afford them), which record video at a resolution of 4096x3072 pixels. By comparison, digital IMAX movies (ie. fake IMAX) are projected using two 2K projectors. YouTube didn't indicate the bitrate at which these videos will stream, but they do recommend a beefy broadband connection to receive this content.
We think it's a bit pointless to have 4K video playing on your computer for a number of reasons. First, current consumer-grade monitors don't exceed 2560x1600 resolution, so you'll need to stretch the video across multiple monitors to appreciate it at its native resolution. Second, it's unlikely that YouTube is streaming this video at a bitrate high enough to do justice to the resolution. 1080p video on Blu-Ray plays at between 30 and 40mbps, so 4K video would need between 100 and 150mbps to match that quality (since 4K is four times the resolution of 1080p). In our tests, sample 4K videos on YouTube actually looked worse than their 1080p counterparts when scaled down in a window.
gallery of 4K video here (set resolution to "Original"), though as we mentioned before, you'll either need a 4K projector or multiple monitors to enjoy all the pixels.