Recently, it was discovered that YouTube was testing out a change where they hid 4K video resolution options behind its Premium paywall, meaning that you would need to have a YouTube Premium subscription in order to watch videos in 4K resolution.
This was quite a bummer because there are many users out there with 4K monitors and TVs who would now be unable to take advantage of their higher-resolution displays unless they pay a subscription fee every month. The good news is that it looks like YouTube’s experiment has come to an end.
we've fully turned off this experiment. viewers should now be able to access 4K quality resolutions without Premium membership. we're here if you have other q's
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) October 17, 2022
In a tweet responding to a user, YouTube has confirmed that they have since disabled this experiment and that all users, including non-Premium users, will be able to access the 4K resolution option. Keep in mind that while this experiment was ongoing, it didn’t affect all users so if you weren’t affected by this previously, then this update isn’t going to make any difference.
Also, another thing to note is that not all video creators upload videos in 4K, so depending on what you normally watch, this might not be that big of a deal. Either way, it’s good to see that YouTube has decided against locking behind 4K quality videos behind a paywall, so hopefully we won’t be seeing it return in a different form in the future.
Source: Android Authority