Netflix is officially in the 4K Ultra HD streaming game as the company quietly rolled out a limited selection of titles over the weekend. It’s the first full-length 4K content to hit the streaming service although the 4K era is still a ways off.
The second season of House of Cards and some nature documentaries were added on Sunday but it should be noted they come with a caveat. The videos are only available on televisions with Netflix and HEVC/H.265 decoding capabilities according to a report from Multichannel.
Netflix spokesperson Joris Evers told the publication the first TV sets are hitting reviewers' desks and store shelves now.
If you recall, Netflix began publically adding 4K Ultra HD clips for testing purposes late last year. During the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings promised their initial 4K offering would be ready this spring. Outside of House of Cards, Hastings said Breaking Bad and a few other Netflix originals would eventually be offered in 4K.
The company is also working to launch 4K-capable streaming apps on new sets from LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony and Vizio.
Unlike the short-lived fad that was 3D, 4K technology appears to be the next big thing in television and the successor to current 1080p HD technology. It boasts a picture resolution that is four times higher than 1080p although some have criticized it for being too expensive and too soon (not enough 4K content available yet) while others claim it pushes the limits of what the human eye is capable of discerning.