The number of devices that can push 4K video right now is pretty much limited to two: A PC or Sony’s brand-locked streaming box. So with a pile of 4K televisions scheduled to debut at CES 2014 in a few weeks, the question is still: Where’s the content?Amazon has tossed their hat into the ring, and upstart NanoTech has a box they’ll be showing that one day may stream Netflix at 4k resolution. But with the second season of House of Cards nigh, how will we see it in all its 4K glory?
Netflix says it will embed 4K players right into 4K television sets. Because DRM hasn’t been locked down yet for 4K media and HDMI 2.0 is a moving target, streaming makes sense. While software players for consoles like the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 are still possible, it’s looking more and more likely that we’re going to have a few more years of experimentation before those really become a reality. Until more sophisticated solutions are available, these embedded players should get the job done. According to Stuff, it will be accomplished via HEVC:
HEVC – or High Efficiency Video Coding – is a new compression format that can purportedly provide similar quality to the current H.264 compression standard at half the bitrate. Or, in the case of 4K streaming, provide a higher-resolution picture without a substantial step up in bitrate.
Expect announcements of CE partners and programming in a few weeks at CES.