Netflix launches limited 4K-quality selection

8 Apr 2014

Kevin Spacey stars in House of Cards

Content-streaming site Netflix has launched its first programmes in 4K quality, with the second season of House of Cards and a number of documentaries.

The news comes a year after the company revealed its plans to introduce the ultra-HD format, starting with its own content and expanding from there.

Aside from the popular House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey, the company has said the format will also be available through “some nature documentaries”.

However, those already with older 4K TVs will be disappointed to find out that the true 4K quality will only be available on this year’s range of capable TVs that includes the necessary H.265/HEVC decoder.

Up until now, the only true TV service offering 4K quality programming was Sony’s video-playing service, which would only work through Sony TV sets.

Video-sharing website YouTube released the option of 4K viewing last year but the quality was not true 4K standard.

Given the current price of the average 4K TV in Ireland being in the range of thousands of euros, the lack of content in these early stages means many Netflix viewers are unlikely to rush out and buy one, but the company says it will be launching more 4K titles in the coming year and beyond.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic