Netflix predict 4K streaming will go mainstream in five years


And for those lucky enough to own an Ultra HD 4K TV you can watch House of Cards in glorious 4K now, provided your broadband is beefy enough.

The Netflix flagship political drama series House of Cards is available now to Netflix subscribers watching on Ultra HD 4K sets. While this is the only 4K offering for the time being the hit series Breaking Bad and more of Netflix own productions are promised in due course.

So far the Samsung UH8550 and UH9000 have been stated as being ready for the streaming service with future models from Sony, Samsung, LG and Vizio also due to support it. While Netflix aren’t naming specific products your Smart TV should be able to stream the 4K service if it can decode HEVC (H265) video coding.

In practice the sobering reality of this news is that many British broadband connections may not yet be up to scratch to stream 4K. According to Netflix's Richard Smith, "To get the highest quality Netflix experience in Ultra HD 4K, we recommend available bandwidth of at least 20Mbps. This provides enough throughput for the stream, which is about 16Mbps, plus headroom for service variability."

UK communications regulators Ofcom give an average download speed of 17.8Mbps in Britain excluding the large majority of an already small band of 4K TV owners.

Writing on the Netflix Blog Smith mentions that, “We expect it will likely take up to 5 years before Ultra HD 4K becomes mainstream; when most of the TVs on store shelves are Ultra HD 4K.”

While all this is going on there’s already talk of streaming even higher 8K Super Hi-Vision resolution video with Japanese broadcasters NHK looking to bring the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to 8K sets



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