Hit crime drama Breaking Bad will be reborn in 4K on Sony smart TVs, according to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
Sony’s 2014 range of smart TVs will be joining LG and Samsung in the Netflix 4K club, letting those with deep enough wallets – and good enough broadband – to enjoy Netflix-exclusive shows like House of Cards.
At Sony’s press conference at CES 2014, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said: “Working with Sony we’ve been able to go back, and I know many of you have already seen Vince Gilligan’s amazing Breaking Bad, but I’m sure you’re going to want to go back and re-watch it in 4K.”
Hastings added that going forwards, all of the new Originals for Netflix will be shot and streamed in 4K, matching Amazon’s plans for its own content.
Thanks to HEVC H.256 compression, you should be able to stream Netflix 4K content if you’ve got a fibre-based or cable broadband package. Hastings reiterated that a minimum speed of 15Mbps would be all you needed.
Note that here Hastings means that you’d need 15Mbps consistently to stream 4K. Sony has been cautious about launching 4K streaming in the UK and Europe, arguing that the market isn’t ready for it yet. Netflix’s own streaming reports suggest that most UK homes won’t be able to support these speeds.
That said, Hastings added that if you’ve got a 20Mbps cable broadband or fibre optic service you should be OK.
Throughout 2014, Virgin Media will have launched its 152Mbps service, Openreach’s fibre-based connections will be available in many more homes and gigabit provider Hyperoptic may have launched domestic services outside of London. Eventually British homes will have enough bandwidth to handle Netflix’s 4K shows, whether they’re enjoying them on a Sony, Samsung or an LG smart TV.