Netflix's 4K Tests: Are We Any Closer to Ultra HD TV Adoption?
The timetable for TVs adopting 4K has been up for debate since the 4K's adoption rates began to rise themselves. Some look at the lagging success of 3D TVs as an indicator that not all consumers treat new technologies equally. However, with more and more TVs offering 4K, it might signify that in-home 4K viewing will become the norm. In fact, the fast-becoming in-home media viewing standard, Netflix, has started testing several 4K videos and even has plans to start offering 4K content as early as next year.
If you were hoping that the videos offered by Netflix would be some VFX-heavy action films or awe-inspiring nature documentary, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but no -- there's nothing that cool -- yet. According to an article from Gigaom, there are currently seven 4K videos running 7 to 8 minutes long, containing footage that Netflix regularly uses for internal tests. One video, of which, demonstrates 4K at 24fps.
According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the popular VOD platform plans on being "one of the big suppliers of 4K next year,” meaning that if everything goes according to plan, you may be able to watch your favorite effects-driven films in ultra HD rather soon. However, Netflix does plan on offering their own original content in 4K first, then later working with their licensing partners to offer other films and TV shows in ultra HD.
This all seems like a timely plan of action after Sony launched 8 million flower petals out of a Costa Rican volcano to promote their 4K TVs. According to The Verge, the "8 million petals represent each individual pixel contained in Sony's 4K sets — four times the detail of 1080p." And though it's still up in the air whether or not consumers are going to adopt ultra HD TVs, especially at their current prices, these trends definitely seem to indicate that the main media gatekeeper, Netflix, is giving it the old college try. Check out Sony's advertisement, as well as a behind-the-scenes video below:
What do you think the timetable looks like for 4K TV adoption? Do you think these Netflix tests indicate that we're close? Let us know in the comments.