Netflix begins testing 4K streaming content, ahead of 2014 rollout
Netflix has begun the testing of 4K HD videos through streaming on its service. While the 4K videos are not the content you would exactly sit around all day and watch, the company's testing is a step in the right direction to a wide-scale, working 4K delivery option.
Netflix has added seven 4K videos to its catalogue over the last week. One is titled El Fuente: 24 MP, which promises "an example of 4K at 24 frames per second". It's not exactly the most interesting footage in the world, and simply shows kids playing in a fountain and people riding bicycles - all around just trying to highlight the powers of 4K.
Following the release of the test videos, a Netflix spokesman confirmed to GigaOm that the company “hopes to launch Ultra HD next year”. This matches nicely with what Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, has said in the past: “We want to be one of the big suppliers of 4K next year.”
We got our first look at Netflix 4K streaming at CES 2013. A Samsung UHDTV was running what was claimed to be streamed 4K video. Unfortunately, there was no indication of how it was being streamed - whether through the internet or a direct line to Netflix - but the quality of the content was as impressive as much of the native video being played on UHDTVs elsewhere on the stands of CES.
Netflix will have to work through the bandwidth issues that accompany streaming large 4K files, considering some users still have issues with streaming 720p and 1080p content. One benefit Netflix has is the rollout of 4K TVs will probably still be limited for quite sometime, as manufacturers work to bring price down. At least Netflix is getting ahead of the storm.