Manufacturers of these TVs – most of which were showing off these products at CES – have a problem with getting content to display on them. Most networks aren’t yet geared to broadcast entertainment in the new standard, and worse, the sheer size of the high definition content makes it impossible to transport it through conventional storage disks.
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4K is not portable
“One of the interesting pieces is that 4K is not going to have a major lifetime on a plastic disc,” Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s chief product officer, Neil Hunt, said to Verge in the article. “It’s not going to fit on a Blu-ray disc, and it’s unlikely that people are going to want to upgrade their DVD players.”
The result: a vacuum that can only be filled by streaming content over the internet – made to order for video streaming company Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), which is a pioneer of sorts in 4K. The company already has a 4K-ready distribution system up-and-running in the market and is creating content in the new standard. The hugely popular, award-winning House of Cards will stream its second season in 4K later this year, and plans are afoot to shift all original programming onto 4K, as confirmed by CEO Reed Hastings earlier at CES.
TV makers have the hardware – where’s the content?
TV Company Vizio, which will bring affordable 4K TVs to the market this year, and Japanese TV maker Sharp are also of the view that 4K content through streaming is the best option. Sony already has a tie-up with Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and is to provide the latter with the 4K masters for Breaking Bad. In a sense, 4K TV makers, with the exception of Sony, are dependent upon the programming and distribution to come from Netflix.
Netflix would hold the advantage
Once 4K TVs become affordable and mainstream, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) would therefore have a head start before its competitors and become the go-to destination for TV viewers to watch 4K content.
After all, the TV is no good without the content – and as usual, content would be king.