In addition to releasing the Daredevil trailer earlier today, Netflix also announced that Marvel’s upcoming TV series would be streaming in 4K. 4K is slightly higher than ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV), and although I’ve never seen it in action, I’m told it looks amazing. But like with any new format, it needs content.
Netflix is trying to supply that content, which can create a reciprocal relationship with TV manufacturers: people want 4K content, they buy a TV that can show 4K content, and then they want more 4K content and will go to a provider (i.e. Netflix) that offers it.
It’s possible that everyone will start moving towards 4K, but as I said in my article about Blu-ray 4K, there’s a threshold. How much better does an image have to look to warrant the price tag?
There’s a handful of content right now that’s available on Netflix for streaming such as House of Cards, Breaking Bad, The Blacklist, Jerry Maguire, and “moving art” documentaries like Oceans, Forests, Deserts, and Flowers. Are these titles that demand a visual quality that’s far superior to HD?
If Daredevil is coming in 4K, then presumably so will the other Marvel series, and perhaps all Netflix series. That’s fine. I’m also sure that as prices on 4K TVs continue to decrease, there will be more of them, the content will expand, and the real question will return to whether or not people will buy physical media.
It’s nice that these TV shows will be in higher resolution, but after we stop marveling at the pretty picture, we’ll need a solid show to carry us forward. Otherwise, you might as well just tune into Flowers.
Also, to watch any show in 4K on Netflix, you’ll have to upgrade to their $11.99/month plan.