CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics exhibition, opened today and with that came a number of announcements and the unveiling of new devices. For its part, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) without making any equipment of its own didn’t want to be left out of the proceedings. CEO Reed Hastings took the stage by request of LG Electronics Inc. (KRX:066570) to announce that Netflix would provide content for those who have chosen to purchase ultra high resolution 4K televisions.
What is 4K streaming?
Also known as ultra-high definition (UHD), 4K is the general term for resolution that is four times that of regular 1080p HD. The technology has been around for a while, but it hasn’t found its way into most living rooms given its prohibitive cost and lack of available content.
Hastings announced today that those with the sets will have the opportunity to stream House of Cards in this format when the second series is released in its entirety on February 14th, much to the chagrin of many who thought that a romantic dinner out was a given. Presumably, a romantic dinner, Kevin Spacey’s smirk, and political intrigue may eat into a number of restaurants’ reservation book. 4K or not.
Netflix would begin 4K streaming this year
While it has been known for some time that Netflix would be ready to begin 4K streaming this year, Hastings was beaming when he pointed out that LG Electronics Inc. (KRX:066570) would be its pioneering partner in this undertaking. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has had an ongoing relationship with LG, the world’s second largest manufacturer of televisions, for some time including their work on smart Blu-ray players together.
Make no mistake, 4K streaming will eat into your bandwidth significantly. Those that are planning on embracing the technology will be wise to upgrade their home internet service before laying out $3,000 or more on a new LG TV. To support 4K, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) uses HEVC (H.265) streaming at about 15Mbps.
LG and season two
In addition to his announcement with regard to House of Cards, Hasting was effusive in his praise of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s native web integration with webOS which runs the LG’s new smart TV platform.
Today’s announcement coincided with Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s release of the full-length trailer of the second season for House of Cards today. Rest assured, political intrigue is a safe bet for another season on Netflix’s first foray into original programming.