How to download 4K and 8K videos from Youtube

By | August 15, 2023

If you have recently built and setup a video editing machine and want to test its performance by working with some 8K footage, then you can download some 8k videos from youtube.

I was looking for some sample 8k video clips to benchmark and test my video editing setup but could not find anything elsewhere. Finally turned to youtube. Youtube does now allow you to directly download the video file, hence we need to use 3rd party download programs to extract the video.

Install yt-dlp

yt-dlp is a program that can download youtube videos to local files in the highest available resolution. It is a continuation of the youtube-dl project which is now inactive.

On Windows there are a couple of ways to install yt-dlp. The first is by installing ubuntu inside wsl and then installing yt-dlp inside ubuntu and use it from there. Another option is to download it via python pip directly on windows. We shall explore both the methods here.

Install Ubuntu using WSL or just go to Microsoft Store and search for Ubuntu and install it. Also install the software package named "Windows Terminal". In order for Ubuntu to work properly inside windows, you would need to have Hyper-V enabled.

sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo apt install yt-dlp

Now you can use yt-dlp to download any youtube video in the full available resolution. The video would be downloaded inside Ubuntu root space which can be accessed from Windows Explorer left panel "Linux > Ubuntu" folder. You would have to copy out the file from there.


Note: For yt-dlp to work you must be using Ubuntu 23.04 or later.

Python Method

Install Python 3, by download from python website: or from Microsoft Store (search for python 3). Install Python by following the instructions of the installer program.

Next open a Windows Terminal/Powershell or command line, and run the following command

> python -m pip install -U yt-dlp

This will install yt-dlp pip package which is what we need.

Now we can invoke yt-dlp directly from any windows terminal and download a youtube file. Keep in mind that the video would be downloaded only the current working directory.

Download 8K videos from Youtube

Youtube has published quite a few 8K videos over the past years and some of these are listed below. Make sure to check their license terms as most of them are strictly for NON-commercial use only.

For most of the videos you just need to invoke the yt-dlp program with the url of the youtube video and it will automatically download the best available version of the video, which is usually the highest resolution.

You can also get a list of available codecs, resolutions of a particular video using the "-F" option. It looks like this

$ yt-dlp -F
[youtube] Extracting URL:
[youtube] sLprVF6d7Ug: Downloading webpage
[youtube] sLprVF6d7Ug: Downloading android player API JSON
[info] Available formats for sLprVF6d7Ug:
sb2 mhtml 48x27        1    │                   mhtml │ images                                   storyboard
sb1 mhtml 80x45        1    │                   mhtml │ images                                   storyboard
sb0 mhtml 160x90       1    │                   mhtml │ images                                   storyboard
599 m4a   audio only      2 │  482.99KiB    31k dash  │ audio only           mp4a.40.5   31k 22k ultralow, m4a_dash
600 webm  audio only      2 │  548.69KiB    35k dash  │ audio only           opus        35k 48k ultralow, webm_dash
139 m4a   audio only      2 │  765.04KiB    49k dash  │ audio only           mp4a.40.5   49k 22k low, m4a_dash
249 webm  audio only      2 │  800.20KiB    51k dash  │ audio only           opus        51k 48k low, webm_dash
250 webm  audio only      2 │    1.03MiB    68k dash  │ audio only           opus        68k 48k low, webm_dash
140 m4a   audio only      2 │    1.98MiB   130k dash  │ audio only           mp4a.40.2  130k 44k medium, m4a_dash
251 webm  audio only      2 │    2.05MiB   134k dash  │ audio only           opus       134k 48k medium, webm_dash
17  3gp   176x144     12  1 │    1.06MiB    69k https │ mp4v.20.3        69k mp4a.40.2    0k 22k 144p
597 mp4   256x144     12    │  443.67KiB    28k dash  │ avc1.4d400b      28k video only          144p, mp4_dash
598 webm  256x144     12    │  322.62KiB    21k dash  │ vp9              21k video only          144p, webm_dash
394 mp4   256x144     24    │  868.42KiB    55k dash  │ av01.0.00M.08    55k video only          144p, mp4_dash
160 mp4   256x144     24    │  438.61KiB    28k dash  │ avc1.4d400c      28k video only          144p, mp4_dash
278 webm  256x144     24    │  936.29KiB    60k dash  │ vp9              60k video only          144p, webm_dash
395 mp4   426x240     24    │    1.48MiB    97k dash  │ av01.0.00M.08    97k video only          240p, mp4_dash
133 mp4   426x240     24    │  955.83KiB    61k dash  │ avc1.4d4015      61k video only          240p, mp4_dash
242 webm  426x240     24    │    1.35MiB    88k dash  │ vp9              88k video only          240p, webm_dash
396 mp4   640x360     24    │    2.82MiB   184k dash  │ av01.0.01M.08   184k video only          360p, mp4_dash
134 mp4   640x360     24    │    1.74MiB   114k dash  │ avc1.4d401e     114k video only          360p, mp4_dash
18  mp4   640x360     24  2 │ ~  3.80MiB   243k https │ avc1.42001E     243k mp4a.40.2    0k 44k 360p
243 webm  640x360     24    │    2.98MiB   195k dash  │ vp9             195k video only          360p, webm_dash
397 mp4   854x480     24    │    5.31MiB   347k dash  │ av01.0.04M.08   347k video only          480p, mp4_dash
135 mp4   854x480     24    │    2.87MiB   188k dash  │ avc1.4d401e     188k video only          480p, mp4_dash
244 webm  854x480     24    │    4.79MiB   314k dash  │ vp9             314k video only          480p, webm_dash
22  mp4   1280x720    24  2 │ ~  6.56MiB   420k https │ avc1.64001F     420k mp4a.40.2    0k 44k 720p
398 mp4   1280x720    24    │   11.12MiB   727k dash  │ av01.0.05M.08   727k video only          720p, mp4_dash
136 mp4   1280x720    24    │    4.44MiB   291k dash  │ avc1.4d401f     291k video only          720p, mp4_dash
247 webm  1280x720    24    │    9.19MiB   601k dash  │ vp9             601k video only          720p, webm_dash
399 mp4   1920x1080   24    │   19.65MiB  1285k dash  │ av01.0.08M.08  1285k video only          1080p, mp4_dash
137 mp4   1920x1080   24    │   18.55MiB  1213k dash  │ avc1.640028    1213k video only          1080p, mp4_dash
248 webm  1920x1080   24    │   16.07MiB  1051k dash  │ vp9            1051k video only          1080p, webm_dash
400 mp4   2560x1440   24    │   60.47MiB  3955k dash  │ av01.0.12M.08  3955k video only          1440p, mp4_dash
271 webm  2560x1440   24    │   51.61MiB  3375k dash  │ vp9            3375k video only          1440p, webm_dash
401 mp4   3840x2160   24    │  119.63MiB  7824k dash  │ av01.0.12M.08  7824k video only          2160p, mp4_dash
313 webm  3840x2160   24    │  141.31MiB  9243k dash  │ vp9            9243k video only          2160p, webm_dash
571 mp4   7680x4320   24    │  272.43MiB 17819k dash  │ av01.0.16M.08 17819k video only          4320p, mp4_dash

You can choose any particular sample to download using its id. Note that different samples have different resolutions, container format (mp4 or webm), video bitrate, fps and tbr. More information about format selection can be found on the github page.

If you note, the high resolution video samples are "video only", means if you download that particular file then upon playing in vlc there would be no audio. The actual method is to download the video and audio separately and merge them. Which is what yt-dlp does. It merges the audio and video streams using ffmpeg.

When no option is specified, yt-dlp does something equivalent to the following command

$ yt-dlp -f bestvideo*+bestaudio/best

Channels with high resolution videos

Here are some videos and channels featuring high resolution 8k and 4k videos. There are videos with even 12k resolution, but you need a display with that sort of resolution actually view the videos in their full glory!

1. Ghost Town

Youtube URL:

This video was published way back in 2015

2. Pantagonia 8K


This video was published way back in 2015.

3. Peru in 8K


This particular channel has lots of videos in 8K resolution.

4. HAWAII in 8K Ultra HD [60FPS] Dolby Vision | Hawaii 8K HDR


This particular channel also publishes lots of videos in 8K resolution format.


For 4k Videos you can simply search youtube for "4k videos" and it will show plenty of nature scenery footage videos from various theme channels and then you can download using yt-dlp.

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].

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