Netflix is now streaming more 4K content, including Breaking Bad and a few movies. That follows a trend of growing 4K content, which is also called Ultra HD.
It’s very unlikely you’ll be watching, because only a handful of people have 4K TVs. Maybe you’ve never even heard of 4K — and that’s OK, because hardly anyone has.
“Awareness is incredibly low,” says Glenn Hower of Parks Associates, a consumer technology research company. “Consumers, they aren’t familiar with the terminology. They don’t know what 4K is, what it means.”
4K promises an enhanced viewing experience, with four times more pixels than HD. But some reviewers who have done side-by-side comparisons say it’s pretty hard for mere humans to tell the difference unless they stand extremely close to the screen.
All those pixels cost a great deal of money. Ben Arnold with NPD Group says a 4K television can cost 50 percent more or double the cost of a comparable HD television. That’s a key reason why he estimates there are only around 100,000 4K sets in use in America.
A key to selling 4K sets is the existence of 4K content. There isn’t much out there now. Companies that offer it, whether they are cable, streaming or broadcast, could score by picking up new customers. Or they might regret it, like companies that recently invested in home 3D, which has been a disaster.
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