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Netflix Testing 4K Video Streaming
Washington, D.C. (November 4, 2013) - This is an update on our earlier coverage of Netflix's plans for 4K video. See earlier article below.
Netflix is now testing a handful of streaming 4K videos as part of its plan to offer 4K movies and TV shows via streaming sometime in 2014, writes GigaOm.com.
The web site says Netflix has added seven 4K videos to its streaming library, including one titled, El Fuente: 24MP, which is described as footage of people riding on bicycles, children playing in fountains and other background activities. You can learn more about Netflix's 4K stream of El Fuente here.
Of course, to appreciate the 4K video quality, you will need an expensive 4K television, and even then, some believe that a streaming 4K video will not offer a superior picture because of bandwidth constraints.
One Netflix user has posted a comment on the El Fuente page that the 4K title is no better than 1080p and he complains the picture occasionally breaks up, suggesting his connection is not fast enough to handle the enormous data needed to stream 4K.
CEO Reed Hastings has said he believes that 4K streaming would require a 15 megabits-per-second connection to work, which is now available in many U.S. homes but arguably not a majority.
Hastings recently told the Copenhagen Future of TV Conference that Netflix hasn't set a launch date for offering 4K titles. But he said last March that he hoped to deliver them in a year or two, adding that it would be the best way to get 4K in the home. The addition of the trial 4K videos would seem to suggest the company is well on its way of delivering streaming 4K in 2014.
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See earlier article on this subject below.
Could You Stream 4K Video At Your Home?
Washington, D.C. (September 24, 2013) - Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says his company continues to prepare to offer 4K video over the Internet, but says it would require a 15 megabits-per-second connection to work.
Multichannel News reports that Hastings recently told the Copenhagen Future of TV Conference that Netflix hasn't set a launch date for offering 4K titles. He said last March that he hoped to deliver them in a year or two, adding that it would be the best way to get 4K in the home.
However, while Hastings said the 15 megabits-per-second connection, which translates into a 50 megabit connection, would not be an obstacle, most American homes now do not have an Internet service that provides that kind of speed. Netflix's own ISP rankings show that the average speed is far below what would be required to deliver 4K video.
In addition, analysts have noted that 4K downloads would require more data and possibly force consumers to exceed their monthly ISP data caps.
But Hastings still sounded bullish on 4K at the Coperhagen conference, saying that 4K video downloads "as an overall system load...will grow quite slowly and steadily, giving people lots of time to build the infrastructure."
Largely because of its cost, which run into the thousands of dollars, the 4K TV is not expected to reach millions of homes for at least a few years, if then.
Bu Sony, which is investing heavily in new 4K TV technology, recently launched a 4K video download service.
Variety writes that a single 4K Sony movie download will take up between 45 and 60 gigabytes, which means that some people would bump up against their monthly data cap with just six downloads. AT&T, for example, has a limit of 250 gigabytes a month; after that, you have to start paying overage fees.
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