Netflix Claims Mainstream 4K TV Coming Within 5 Years

by on June 30, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – June 30th, 2014

While Ultra High Def 4K TV is already here for millions of less cost conscious viewers who don’t mind spending a few thousand dollars on one of the TVs, most of us are still stick with regular 1080p HD or even lesser resolution. Not that this is really our fault though, since most broadcasters don’t even transmit 4K content anyhow.

However, Netflix, the streaming video company that’s riding at the forefront of the 4K wave, says that this is going to change soon enough –within 5 years to be exact.

According to the company, which streams several popular TV shows and movies in 4K resolution to the few viewers who can already appreciate them, 4K TV may be growing slowly but by 2019 it will be the mainstream viewing resolution for the majority of HD TVs.

What’s really needed is the “Critical Mass” factor. According to Netflix, they “….expect it will take up to 5 years before Ultra HD 4K becomes mainstream, when most of the TVs on the shelves are Ultra HD 4K”.

They also predict that consumers will buy more than a million 4K TVs in 2014, but in that they’ve under-guessed the selling trends, since the million mark has already been passed for 2014.

For now however, the 4K TV market is hovering in an odd sort of twilight land in which the TVs are widely available in many markets and dropping in price but the native 4K content itself is not yet being released in large enough variety to be a serious factor in the decision to buy.

If you as a consumer, however, are already set up with a very strong broadband connection, already own one of the TVs from a major brand such as LG, Sony or Samsung and happen to subscribe to Netflix then you can move far ahead of the mainstream crowd.

Netflix already has shows such as Breaking Bad, House of Cards and movies such as Smurfs 2 and Ghostbusters (1 and 2) available for streaming in 4K to tech savvy customers who are ahead of the curve.

4K display technology in the form of projectors, cameras and TVs is already well established to a point where the gadgets that use it are dropping in price across the board as different companies compete to capture more sales. The main problem with broad adoption lies in the other side of the table, the content side. Here, some of the issues that still need resolving before 4K transmission can really start to take off include the need for either drastically improved broadband connection speeds for residential use or much better compression of 4K content so it can be transmitted at existing bandwidths.

Efforts to implement both approaches are already being made in Japan and the United Kingdom. A consortium of Japanese companies in partnership with their federal government are trying to expand 4K capable network technology country wide and the BBC in the U.K is working on a plan to better compress 4K data streams through innovative new codecs for easier transmission over existing channels. 

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