Netflix 4K streams now to be available for Panasonic’s older A802 Ultra HD TV models

by on November 18, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – November 18, 2014

Panasonic has promised that it will soon be releasing a new firmware update to customer’s who’ve bought its slightly older model AX802 line of 4K TVs so that they too can access Netflix streaming content from their sets.

The new update essentially features the ability to decode and properly display the HEVC video compression codec being used in all of the streaming media sent out by Netflix to subscribers. When it comes to 4K ultra HD, HEVC is particularly important to the streaming entertainment company given the sheer bandwidth intensive weight of a 4K video signal, which at 3840 x 2160 pixels, is more than 4 times larger than a conventional Full HD video transmission.

Owners of the AX802 line of TVs will be able to access Netflix 4K streams as soon as their TVs receive the firmware update but only assuming that they also happen to have the right kind of internet connection for the job.

Any home with a ADSL connection or any other kind of internet connectivity that delivers less than a constant, steady 15 to 20 Mbps will either flat out not be able to receive the 4K UHD streams that Netflix (and soon Amazon Prime) offer or will get a badly deficient and patchy signal that ruins the whole purpose of ultra HD streaming.

The need for 20Mbps doesn’t just mean connectivity “of up to 20Mbps”. Many internet packages offer this condition but more realistically offer signal strengths that are actually a full third or more lower with only peak periods of full connectivity as advertised. Instead, anyone who wants to really enjoy 4K streams without interruptions needs to have a constant minimum of an ideal 20 megabits constantly available without slowdowns. Technically, even 15 Mbps will do but according to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings himself, just 15 is a bare minimum and likely cutting things a bit too close for smooth enjoyment of the company’s streaming content.

Breaking Bad in 4K from Netflix

Breaking Bad is noe of the most popular and unique TV series available in 4K through Netflix UHD stream

4K TV owners who have access to 50 and 100Mbps packages from some of the most advanced ISPs or are lucky enough to get their hands on the Ultra-fast 500+Mbps connectivity of Fiber technology will get the most hassle-free enjoyment of 4K streaming from any potential provider.

This means access to the existing Netflix library of movies and shows such as Breaking Bad, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, as well as access to all future 4K content produced and delivered by Netflix. Since the company has promised that all content it produces as of 2014 will be filmed in 4K, the existing selection is sure to grow much larger.

Subscribing to the Netflix 4K package does also mean paying slightly more than what the regular HD streaming package from the company costs but the price difference is relatively small with the “family” plan that also includes access to 4K streams costing just $3 dollars more than the smaller HD streaming option.

Panasonic TV owners who have bought newer model 4K TVs such as the AX850 and AX900 lines from the company don’t need to wait for any firmware updates and can access Netflix streams straight out of the box from their TVs as long as their web connectivity is as strong as noted above.

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