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Netflix starts 4K trials

Netflix has quietly added a number of ultra high definition videos to its US website, in what looks to be a planed roll out next year.

Reports from the US suggest that the on-demand streaming firm has added around seven 4K test videos at the end of October. The company is also filming a second series of its critically acclaimed political drama House of Cards in the Ultra HD format.

At present the videos consist of test footage designed to see how well the service would work in practice. At the present time, 4K quality isn’t an option available to normal subscribers.

In the firm’s third quarter earnings call last month, Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings said that he wanted his company to be “one of the big suppliers of 4K content next year”. He predicted that a wider expansion of 4K content would be forthcoming in 2014.

Netflix chief product officer, Neil Hunt,said in an interview with Canadian publication Maclean’s that while 4K is the “real deal” with not just more pixels and higher frame rate bringing an added sense of realism to video content, 3D was on the way out.

“We’re probably looking to back out of it in the end. I’m not sure there’s enough value in it,” said Hunt. “We’ve got a small collection [of 3D] and we’ll keep that going but we’re certainly not looking to expand it.”

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