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Netflix starts 4K TV trial ahead of 2014 rollout

House of Cards is likely to be first Ultra HD TV show
Mon Nov 04 2013, 10:17

TV AND FILM STREAMING SERVICE Netflix has started a trial of Ultra HD 4K TV ahead of a planned rollout next year.

According to Gigaom, Netflix quietly added a handful of 4K movies to its streaming service in the past week. The films are apparently test footage used at Netflix, such as one named El Fuente: 24 MP which shows off 4K TV at 24 frames per second.

We've had a scan of the Netflix catalogue, and this film doesn't seem to be available in the UK yet. However, it's thought that those who can access the movies will not be able to view them in 4K yet.

Still, this is good news, as it sees Netflix edging closer to rolling out a wider selection of Ultra HD titles. Earlier this year, the firm's chief product officer Neil Hunt said that Netflix wants to be one of the companies to take 4K video mainstream.

Hunt said during an interview in March with The Verge, "Streaming will be the best way to get the 4K picture into people's homes. That's because of the challenges involved in upgrading broadcast technologies and the fact that it isn't anticipated within the Blu-ray disc standard.

"Clearly we have much work to do with the compression and decode capability, but we expect to be delivering 4K within a year or two with at least some movies and then over time become an important source of 4K."

Hunt added that Netflix's own political drama series House of Cards has been shot in 4K, hinting that series two of the Kevin Spacey show will be one of the first to be made available in Ultra HD.

However, given our luck here in the UK it's likely that the 4K option will hit the US first. Netflix has yet to confirm this. µ


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