Netflix plans to be a first mover in the Ultra HD game, including streaming 4K content "within a year or two."
Neil Hunt, Netflix' chief product officer, told the Verge that streaming will be the best way to get the 4K picture into people's homes.
"That's because of the challenges involved in upgrading broadcast technologies and the fact that it isn't anticipated within the Blu-ray disc standard," he explained. "Clearly we have much work to do with the compression and decode capability, but we expect to be delivering 4K within a year or two with at least some movies and then over time become an important source of 4K."
The company is gearing up for that day: its original series House of Cards was shot in 4K. Netflix expects to have at least some House of Cards 4K encodes later this year.
"Our goal is for people to get immersed in the story, whatever that is," Hunt said, noting that the quality of experience will have to be satisfactory in order for the company to pull the trigger on 4K. "And to that end, we try to make the technology as seamless and smooth as possible. If people notice the rendering of the picture or the user interface, then that's subtracting from the experience we're looking for."