At CES this year, everyone was showing or talking about 4K. It was the same hype that occurred years ago around 3D (the last time I went to CES). However, just like the CES when 3D was all the rage, there was one thing missing.... The content!
Netflix is one company that is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the manufacturers and the consumer market. 4K may be the disruptor in the market that Netflix needs to have it go to the next level in size. It could be that Netflix changes the way we watch TV to the one that changes the TV business itself!
Supposedly 4K cameras are trickling into TV production, networks like AMC and Fox aren't anywhere close to broadcasting 4K content.
When folks start jumping on deals like the Vizio $999 P-Series UHD TV, they are going to want content and the only place they are really going to get it is over the Internet.
What I found interesting was how Reed Hastings (CEO of Netflix) was quoted at CES. "One of the interesting pieces is that 4K is not going to have a major lifetime on a plastic disc, it is not going to fit on a Blu-Ray disc, and it's unlikely that people are going to want to upgrade their DVD players."
Hmmm... He has some good points there. As discussed in the BDA 4K thread, there is still a committee focused on what codec to use for 4K BD. If anyone would have a handle on codecs and which ones can get the best compression and still have that resolution, it would probably be Reed and his technical crew.
It's not just Reed that is thinking this way. Both Vizio CTO Matt McRae and Sharp SVP of product marketing Jim Sanduski have been quoted as saying that they are betting on streaming as the future of 4K.
Of course all of this plays into Netflilx's other strengths.... they produce content! With the Emmy-winning House of Cards that will have the second season in 4K, they are leading the pack.
Can Amazon catch up? Will we be watching streaming 4K instead of optical disc?
I'm still very skeptical about picture quality when streaming. I need to see it to believe it and I want to see it with test patterns. Otherwise, I'm sticking with 2K Blu-ray...
Who is going to be the first 4K streaming adopter here? Not me... Well, I will probably review it...