Ready or not, here comes Ultra HD.
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At the annual MIPCOM conference in Cannes, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos revealed that the streaming giant will shoot all of its original content in 4K from here on out. That includes original series like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, as well as movies like the recently announced Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend.
The news arrives on the heels of the announcement that Netflix is increasing the price of 4K streaming to offset the higher costs of producing and distributing ultra-HD content.
But despite the higher price point, Netflix believes that 4K is here to stay, and—more importantly—that service providers are already equipped to handle the transition.
"The advancements in compression will be able to deliver 4K just fine with current broadband speeds," Sarandos remarked at the MIPCOM keynote. "All of our original series are being shot in 4K, and certainly our original features."
The transition is the next logical step for Netflix, which has been steadily shifting its focus from distribution to programming in recent years. By producing ultra-high definition content, the company is aiming to stake its claim in the next generation of digital programming.
In fact, Sarandos believes 4K streaming is nothing short of a game-changer. "It will completely invert people’s expectations of quality of content on the internet."
According to spokesman Cliff Edwards, Netflix users who have already accessed UHD content will be grandfathered into their existing plan for at least two years. Future adopters hoping to flex their TV's 4K muscles via Netflix will have to upgrade to a "platinum" $11.99 plan.