Netflix has announced that it will begin streaming in 4K UHD as soon as 2014, starting with the next series of its Emmy awards-winning House of Cards.
Several of the next-generation 4K TVs will be capable of streaming Netflix directly in 4K, via the app. Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt told Stuff: “We're not naming specific manufacturers, but we have several of the major TV vendors who are going to be producing 4K capable TVs – they'll be announcing them at CES.”
Hunt went on to say that it’s not just more pixels that will make Netflix content impressive but also higher frame rate (HFR) too. Much like The Hobbit which is shot at this 48 frame per second, Netflix will also be pushing out content in that format. This probably won’t arrive until 2015 when TVs will be more affordable and capable of both 4K and HFR.
One of the major problems with 4K reaching a mass market status is the lack of content. That’s why Netflix is pioneering the way by shooting and streaming its own Original Series material.
But if you thought you’d be streaming it via your PS4 or Xbox One you’d be wrong. While these probably will be capable in the future, for now it’s just smart 4K TVs. But since you’ll need to buy such a TV to display 4K resolution anyway this isn’t such a big deal.
On next-gen console 4K streaming Hunt says: "The new game consoles may eventually be 4K-capable but the ability to take 4K out of the box and drop it into a separate television is lacking some standards, plus HDMI 2.0, so it's just a little premature. We will probably see that, but right now we're talking about 4K Netflix built into the smart TV."
We're finally excited about getting a 4K UHD TV which should make for a very interesting CES this January.