Trickle or stream? Netlix says 4K streaming begins January

netflix-4k-ultra-hd

After months of hints, speculation, and valid questions throughout the industry about viability, Netflix is going for it and launching 4K streaming … next month. A report by The Verge reveals that Netflix has already put a plan in place to pipe the sparkling clear Ultra HD resolution into living rooms sometime in January.

However, for those early adopters of the technology, it’s not all roses and rainbows in 4K land just yet, and for a host of reasons. The biggest caveat to the news is a revelation from the company’s Chief Product Officer, Neil Hunt, to Stuff magazine that only select manufacturers will be getting the 4K streams, with a planned announcement of exactly which TVs will be compatible at this year’s CES. The unnamed TVs with the magic touch will be running the 4K streams through onboard Netflix apps, with a possible introduction of 4K streaming to both PS4 and Xbox One consoles being hinted at “eventually.”

Another issue at hand includes a standard problem throughout the entertainment industry with introducing 4K at this stage in the game: the lack of available 4K content. Netflix has one ace in the hole in that department in the form of its hit series “House of Cards,” which is shot in 4K, and Hunt revealed the 2nd season as the flagship series for the company’s introductory 4K run. Hunt explained that Netflix will be starting small in an attempt to jump start the technology, saying that the company’s initial slate of 4K content will consist of  “… a set of sample offerings, not a big part of the catalog.”

Apart from those concerns, other barriers 4K enthusiasts will face include both a short supply of available internet connections speedy enough to run the massive streams, as well as questions about 4K compression. While Hunt recently promised that 4K streaming will only require speeds of around 15 Mbps, that’s still well above what the average American routinely receives. And besides the need for speed, many are skeptical about what 4K content will actually look like at the other side of the pipe at the high compression rates it will take to make 4K streaming a reality.

Regardless of the obstacles at hand, Netflix has rarely shied away from a challenge, and Hunt’s confidence in the new technology is palpable. We’ll find out more about which TVs will get the new blast of high density resolution, and when, in a few short weeks at CES 2014. Until then, we’d like to hear your thoughts on this ostensible shot from the hip from the biggest streaming outfit around.

Movies & TV

NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service in 2020

NBCU is prepping a streaming service filled with its original content for a debut sometime next year, meaning that Michael, Dwight, and the rest of the Scranton crew might be moving to a new home.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Gaming

Verizon video game streaming service leaked, currently testing on Nvidia Shield

Verizon is currently testing a video game streaming service that is already running on the Nvidia Shield set-top box, according to The Verge. The platform, named Verizon Gaming, will also eventually launch on Android smartphones.
Movies & TV

Amazon launches IMDb Freedive, an ad-supported streaming service

IMDb, the information-rich film and TV website, launched a free, ad-supported, streaming video channel in the U.S. this week. IMDb Freedive offers a television series and feature films on the IMDb website and on Fire TV devices.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Annihilation,’ ‘True Detective’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Annihilation, the start of a new season of True Detective, and more.
Home Theater

Our quick-and-easy guide to programming an RCA universal remote

If you're tired of using a million different remotes in your home theater, office, or living room, you'll likely be interested in a single RCA universal remote. Here's how to program it for your system.
Home Theater

Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is the epic sound revolution you didn’t know you needed

After Sony’s utterly bizarre press conference, I almost missed what was perhaps the most impactful sonic experience at the show. Luckily, I went back to Sony’s booth on the last day of the show, only to have my mind blown.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Music

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Home Theater

Need to get rid of an unused Netflix profile? Just follow these simple steps

Need to delete an unwanted profile from your Netflix account? It's easy to do, no matter what kind of equipment you've got. Check out our handy how-to guide for step-by-step instructions.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Computing

Beam up the videos: AirPlay support is coming to VLC player

At CES 2019, the developers of VLC player announced they are adding support for Apple's Airplay feature, allowing consumers to beam video and other content from their iPhone and Android devices to an Apple TV. 
Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.
Home Theater

Here’s why you’re not getting Netflix in HD or 4K, and how to fix it

Are you having trouble watching your favorite movies or TV shows on Netflix in HD or 4K? We explain why loading takes so long, why the picture quality fluctuates, and what you can do about it.