Netflix to Stream in 4K

Posted by Ashley McChesney

One of the greatest leaps we have witnessed so far in the realm of 4k TV comes not from a tech production company, but from Netflix, the long-popular DVD rental and movie streaming service.  Netflix recently announced that it will shoot and edit the new season of House of Cards, its wildly popular original series starring Kevin Spacey, to optimize it for 4k streaming.  This development will make House of Cards the first full television season available in 4k.  Similarly, Amazon Studios announced that it will be shooting all of its original productions for 4k throughout 2014.  However, the question remains: when will 4k technology be readily available for the average consumer? Numerous technology giants continue to develop and produce televisions and other devices with 4k capabilities, with a number of brand new models featured at the 2014 CES in Las Vegas.  Though most currently available 4k televisions have price tags of $3,000 and above, developers predict that prices will gradually decline, just as they did following the advent of HDTVs.  Vizio even announced a 50-inch 4k model to be sold for only $999. In conjunction with the new developments in filming technology, many companies are turning toward SmartTVs, which include a number of pre-installed apps such as Netflix and Hulu Plus for video streaming.  Roku, creator of one of the most popular and affordable streaming boxes, has announcedthat they will be teaming up with six different manufacturers to produce SmartTVs that include the functionality of the Roku as a standard feature. This announcement has caused a very noticeable push toward the “cable cutting” trend, in which a number of loyal cable users have foregone the expensive channel packages with hundreds of unwanted stations and replaced them with user-friendly streaming.  Not only is streaming less expensive and easier to tailor to personal viewing preferences, now it is also making the movement toward much higher picture quality than what cable can offer.  This power play puts the ball into big cable companies’ courts, and may “signify a shift in 4k adoption,”according to NBC News. As for video production companies, 4k technology broadens horizons in the way of image quality and high-definition shots.  Effectively, videographers are now able to get four camera positions in one single shot.  As the availability of this technology increases, we are sure to see a plethora of streaming companies and tech developers alike making 4k available–and affordable–for all.