Netflix and Amazon have both announced they will be rolling out 4K content to smart TVs, but which brands support it and what content can you expect to find?
One of the biggest complaints about the hype over 4K is that there isn’t much content around to watch on your Ultra HD TV.
It’s only early days, with Netflix’s service just six months old and Amazon’s due to launch in October, but better times are ahead.
Netflix was the first TV streaming service to announce it would be launching 4K shows, and it went online back in April with the second season of House of Cards (plus an upgrade to season one).
However, it says only devices supporting the H.265/HEVC decoder will be compatible with the service. This includes the LG UB range of smart TVs, Samsung’s HU and S9/S9V sets, the Sony X-series and Vizio P Series.
Panasonic announced that its AX902 range and older AX800 TVs will be able to stream content, but only after they’ve had a firmware update.
Additionally, you’ll need a very good broadband connection for the service to stream. Netflix says officially 25Mbps or higher, but it will work if you have consistent speeds of 15Mbps.
So far only a select few programmes are available including Breaking Bad, Smurfs 2, Ghostbusters and House of Cards, with some nature programmes such as Moving Art, although not all of these have been specified by the company so you’ll have to trawl through the content to find it.
Most of Netflix’s new series are being made in 4K, including Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, Wachowski brothers sci-fi serial Sense8, and a brace of Marvel comic-book series including Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones.
Amazon Prime 4K
Amazon Prime Instant Video is launching its 4K service in October, although it is being more secretive about the content we can expect to watch on our Ultra HD tellies.
So far, Samsung’s 2014 Smart TV platform has been touted to work with the service, as has Panasonic with its AX902 range and the Sony X-series and Vizio P Series.
Like Netflix, you’ll need a solid broadband connection of around 20Mbps to watch seamless 4K Amazon content, but as it seems there are few confirmed programmes to watch, you may not need to hurry an upgrade your broadband service just yet.
When the service was announced back in January, Warner Bros, Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox, and Discovery were named as Amazon’s partners alongside Samsung, but exactly which programmes will be arriving on the ultra HD service are yet to be announced.
Amazon has created its own 4K in-house series, Extant starring Halle Berry, for the service’s launch and said it will be showing much of its original content that has been shot using 4K cameras later on.
And if you want something a little different, Amaon filmed Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga performing classics off of their new album of jazz standards in 4K, which will be shown as Cheek to Cheek LIVE!.