Netflix offering 4K shows with Dolby Digital Pass-Through to Android TV

by on May 27, 2015

Stephan Jukic – May 27, 2015

Netflix has been in the 4K content race for some time now and fortunate owners of newer model (2014/2015) ultra HD TVs have been enjoying the service for some time now.

This streaming offer from Netflix has of course included a fairly decent selection of ultra HD movies and also offered both native 4K TV series and popular shows from third party studios. We’re referring here in particular to the hit series “House of Cards” and the insanely popular 5 season TV series “Breaking Bad”. On top of these there are also shows like “The Blacklist”, “Marco Polo” and another Netflix original called “Daredevil”.

These shows and the selection of Hollywood movies such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and the classic “Philadelphia” cost a few bucks a month but the overall deal is not bad at all: for $12 per month, users can not only access the full Netflix 4K content selection, they can also enjoy thousands of hours of Full HD movies, shows and documentaries.

Netflix has definitely updated its streaming app for the latest 4K TVs that feature the new Android TV surrogate platform with 4K functionality

Netflix has definitely updated its streaming app for the latest 4K TVs that feature the new Android TV surrogate platform with 4K functionality

And if these users happen to have one of the better Samsung, Sony or LG 4K TVs, their models’ internal HD upscaling engines will quickly and easily turn even HD or Full HD video into something that comes pretty surprisingly close to looking like ultra HD content anyhow. Sony TVs in particular are known for the beauty and accuracy of their upscaling engines.

This of course brings us to the next part of this Netflix story. The company’s streaming app is now also available to ultra HD TVs with the latest Android TV smart TV package from Google.

Now, for the time being at least, few devices in general feature Android TV with 4K streaming capacity, but one category of products that definitely delivers this technology is the entire line of 2015 ultra HD 4K TVs from Sony, which features Google’s set-top box embedded into its hardware. In addition to these Sony TVs, the soon to arrive (no confirmed release date yet) NVIDIA SHIELD set-top box will also be an Android TV player with 4K viewing capacity. Older Devices with Android are unfortunately still stuck in 1080p HD mode.

Not only is the new Netflix app for the Android TV interface from Google an excellent source of today’s bet 4K content, it also includes support for Dolby Digital Plus pass-through. Which enables compatible machines and platforms to transmit high quality surround sound information through a single HDMI cable to a TV and then to a receiver.

Until recently, this feature from Dolby was only available to the Nexus Player via Sony APK technology but the latest update with the Netflix app allows Android TV enabled devices (mainly Sony 4K TVs) to take advantage of this single HDMI cable simplicity.

Unfortunately however, the new update does not bundle the voice search capacity that is otherwise available with the Android TV platform and reputed to be absolutely excellent.

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