Netflix is quick to adapt a technology as and when it comes. The streaming company was one of the first to support 4K, and now it has started using 6K. Netflix shot the third season of its popular series House of Cards in 6K, but it is being streamed in 4K only, says a report from the Hollywood Reporter.
6K a costly process
The extremely high-resolution productions have files of very large sizes associated with them, and this makes the process more difficult and costlier to handle. As highlighted by the report, often for 4K films, VFX work is done on 2K to make things simpler.
Netflix received master copies of House of Cards prepared in 4K as per the reports, but the company wants the production houses to have an archive of masters stored in 6K in case of future need. The 4K master has, per episode, 2.5TB whereas the 6K masters came in at 5.5TB per episode.
The post-production was handled at Encore in Hollywood. According to Encore’s senior VP operations, Morgan Strauss, a team was formed to create a workflow to accommodate the 6K R3D camera files and visual effects shots in 6K DPX files.
We mixed the native camera files and uncompressed 6K files … and conformed in [Autodesk’s] Flame, staying as native as possible,” says Strauss.
Netflix prepares for the future
Netflix is surely preparing itself in advance for the future beyond 4K as some 8K sets were discussed at the CES this year. As of now, the investment made in 6K could be viewed as a waste by some, but when the time comes, this very investment will give the streaming company an early mover advantage. For 4K, Netflix was among the first, and for whatever comes next, it wants to remain the first.
It cannot be said with certainty if viewers will get to see House of Cards in 6K. Even for 4K, the market is still growing, so for anything above that there is almost no existence.
In pre-market trading today, Netflix shares were up 0.56% to $437.50, and year to date, the stock is up by over 26%.