Netflix to Stream House of Cards in 4K via HEVC H.265 Compression
December 19, 2013 11:38 AM
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Netflix says new compression format will improve picture for HD viewers too
attributed some of its impressive growth
to its successful and critically acclaimed original show
House of Cards
. Netflix will now use the second season of the show as a vehicle for its efforts to provide customers with 4k resolution content.
Netflix says that the 4K programming will be offered through smart TV apps on next generation 4k TVs. Netflix's Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt said in an interview with
, "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."
As for the possibility of 4K streaming content coming to next generation consoles like the
, don’t hold your breath.
Hunt added, "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 and HDMI 2.0, and it's just a little premature. So we probably will see that, but right now we're talking about 4K Netflix built into the smart TV."
While some of us have a hard time streaming full HD resolution broadcasts thanks to slow broadband speeds around much of the U.S., Netflix is leaning on technology to allow owners of 4K TVs to stream the higher resolution format.
"We're pushing forward with new encoding technology – we'll be using H.265, which is colloquially known as HEVC, instead of AVC H.264," Hunt explains. "We think with that we're going to be delivering in the 10-16Mbps range – about 15Mbps is probably what we should think of."
The new compression format will allow a higher resolution picture without needing a major step up in bitrate. Hunt promises that people that don’t have 4K TVs will also see a benefit, noting, “We're pioneering HEVC, which is about twice as efficient as AVC. And so, when we start to see those HEVC decoders get real, and the encoders get more efficient, we're going to be able to recode all the HD content – and the standard-def content, for that matter – in HEVC. So people with a 2 Mbps DSL will be able to receive a better picture than they do today."
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12/19/2013 12:40:27 PM
I would love me a 4k projector however with very little 4k content it would be overpaying for something you could barely use today. But thats a Captain Obvious comment. I do look forward to it going mainstream as I would love to take my 110" screen up to 140"+ inches. Anything larger might be too much for my viewing distance. 1080P at 110" is probably a touch too much for my current view distance I need the higher resolution before going bigger.
Its similar to a conversation I had recently on upgrading a router to the latest 802.11ac when all my wireless devices are at 802.11n. Until wireless devices start using or needing 802.11ac I would be wasting money on the router with no real return. Internet is still slower than 802.11n.
I also really hate there is not more or quality 3D content on. Its all still one off stuff. I dont care about X-Games or High School Football but when its in 3D I'll watch it but am craving better content not just tours of China.
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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