It's safe to say most people aren't watching 4K content on 4K sets (let alone streaming it), but that hasn't stopped Netflix from looking ahead and preparing for the next pixel-packed phase.
The streaming service made headlines last year when it released season two of House of Cards in Ultra HD (four times the resolution of HD), and now it's doing it again with season three. Only it's taken thing up a notch. According to The Hollywood Reporter, season three was shot using Red cameras. But not just the standard ones. It used Red’s 6K Dragon sensor, which offers roughly nine times more pixels that HD.
Hollywood-based Encore handled all the postproduction, which includes the 6K R3D camera files from production and visual effects shots in 6K DPX files, which is reportedly "highly unusual", as many shows and films finished in 4K feature visual effects in 2K due to the large file sizes. Encore said it mixed native camera files and uncompressed 6K files in an attempt to stay as native as possible. It even created 6K archive masters.
Each hour-long episode of the 6K archive masters is roughly 5.5TB in size. The post-production company also ready a 4K version with 2.5TB-sized episodes, which is the version it delivered to Netflix. That means you won't actually watch House of Cards in 6K, which is not a big deal, considering 6K sets aren't even mainstream at the moment. Netflix likely just wanted the 6K masters ready for when 6K streaming arrives.
Netflix was one of the first production companies in Hollywood to spearhead the 4K revolution, and it appears as though the company has the same strategy in place for when it comes to 6K streaming. In the meantime, however, you can watch the latest season of Netflix's original House of Cards in stunning 4K, as long as you have the bandwidth and an Ultra HD TV of course.
House of Cards is a political drama series starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. It's actually an adaptation of the BBC's mini-series of the same name. The show won several awards for the first two seasons, most recently winning a 2015 Golden Globe for Best Actor (given to Spacey).