Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Is Readying Itself For 4K TVs

Netflix how to download netflix movies and tv showsNFLX Photo by Matt Perreault

4K resolution refers to display medium or content in which the horizontal resolution is of the order of 4,000 pixels. Several 4K resolutions exist in digital television and digital cinematography. The term 4K refers to the horizontal resolution versus vertical as with 1080p which is currently marketed as “Full HD.”

Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Is Readying Itself For 4K TVs

Netflix offering 4K TVs soon

2013 has marked the first time that televisions of this resolution are available to buyers in the United States for under $1000. With models under this price point, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) and others are finally seeing its 4K TVs finding their way into the mainstream—and the living room. With that comes a challenge for streaming services like Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) to meet the available resolution offered by these TVs.

Recently, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings spoke of the challenges facing Netflix with regards to 4K TVs at the Copenhagen Furture of TV Conference. Presently, the highest resolution streaming that Netflix offers is Super HD. In order for users to stream this format without buffering or pre-loading they require an Internet connection between 6-12 Mbps. That speed is not offered wholesale in the United States but rather through only a few select ISPs. While that may sound bad, just wait until Ultra HD comes around, requiring even more bandwidth.

Netflix streaming vs Internet bandwidth

“It’s around 15 megabits per second,” said Hastings at the TV Conference. “It’s not too bad. If you’ve got a 50-megabit connection you’ll be fine. As an overall system load, it will grow quite slowly and steadily, giving people lots of time to build the infrastructure.”

While a 50 Mbps is a realistic solution for some, it’s a long ways afield for the average American whose connection sits at around 7.4 Mbps. Essentially, the average American needs to double their connection speed in order to enjoy 4K streaming.

Suffice it to say, 4K resolution looks incredible but is quite a ways away from a possibility at present for all but a small group of Americans. Additionally, at first it won’t even be a matter of whether consumers can afford a 50 Mbps connection but rather whether one is available in their area.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at [email protected]

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