Netflix beating cable to the punch on 4K and HDR

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) has announced aggressive plans to ramp up both 4K and HDR programming.

The SVOD service said it will deliver 600 hours of 4K video on its platform by year's end. It will also serve up season one of the original series Marco Polo, as well as season 2 of Daredevil, in the High Dynamic Range format.

The announcements were made earlier this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona by Chris Jaffe, VP of user interface innovation for Netflix. (The Netflix event was covered by CNBC, among other media outlets.)

"Something that's a little bit more out there that we're really excited about is the notion of HDR or high dynamic range," Jaffe said.

"It's less about packing more pixels on the screen like the move from HD to ultra-HD 4K was, it's about extending the total range of those pixels ... what that means is there's a much more photo realistic image that you're watching which is much more representative of the total range that your eye can see when you're just looking around in real life," he added.

The bold movement by Netflix into both 4K and HDR represents a competitive threat to the pay-TV industry, which has been slow to respond to both technologies. For its part, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) plans to debut HDR-capable set-tops later this year.

Conversely, Netflix seems to be sitting on the sidelines in regard to virtual reality. Jaffe said there are no plans to begin producing original series in 360-degree format.

"We think there's a great opportunity for VR in gaming and the gaming space is going to be an interesting place for them to explore it," he said. "We don't see an opportunity right now in the near-term for Netflix and VR, but we do want to watch how great story tellers use this technology, because at the end of the day, what you really see is when consumers really engage with great storytelling there's a great opportunity and that's what we really want to see."

For more:
- read this CNBC story
- read this Variety story

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