Netflix has already declared that it intends to launch a 4K streaming offering sometime in 2014, and now we have a more precise view on how and when the company intends to kick it off.
A Netflix spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the company plans to offer the second season of House of Cards in the 4K format. Fans of the Emmy award-winning political drama will get a chance to binge-out on all 13 episodes of the series' sophomore effort on Feb. 14, 2014.
Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt told Stuff that the company will offer the 4K streams via new apps that are tailored for new Ultra HD sets. "We're not naming specific manufacturers, but we have several of the major TV vendors who are going to be producing 4K capable TVs – they'll be announcing them at CES," Hunt told the pub.
But from the sounds of it, don't expect Netflix, which has already conducted some technical 4K streaming tests, to offer a massive Ultra HD library as the offering gets off the blocks.
In addition to Netflix’s popular original series, “[t]here will be some additional pieces, but initially it'll be a set of sample offerings, not a big part of the catalogue,” Hunt said regarding Netflix’s initial Ultra HD foray.
In September, CEO Reed Hastings estimated that consumers will need about 15 Mbps to handle Netflix’s coming 4K streams.
And offering originals in 4K is quickly becoming a key part of the Ultra HD gameplan for over-the-top video providers. Just this week Amazon Studios said it plans to shoot all "full" original series being set for 2014. Amazon, however, has not announced how it will distribute its coming 4K fare.