Until recently, streaming Netflix video in 4K, or ultra-high-definition display, was available for $8 or $9 a month. It now requires a $12 dollar-a-month subscription.
Only a few manufacturers make devices with 4K displays, and it’s probably not too late to be the first on your block to get one.
“We’re expecting 10 million of these 4K TVs to be sold this year, worldwide,” says Eric Smith, who looks at home-entertainment devices for Strategy Analytics. “And most of them are in China, actually.”
But prices are dropping, and sales will probably go up. Smith says in a few years, a third of new TVs may be 4K.
Strategy Analytics projects that sales of ultra-high-definition TVs will climb in the next few years.
Overall, getting 4K will mean paying more: a new TV, and probably more bandwidth, since the sharper picture takes four times as much data.
For Netflix, producing shows like “House of Cards” in 4K means spending more. The company says that’s why it’s raising prices.
But, despite the costs, the tech ramp-up in video will continue.
“We’ll get to three-dimensional, eventually we’ll get to holographic projection,” says Larry Hettick, who looks at consumer services for Current Analysis, a telecom consultancy. “And as the price point becomes bearable to consumers, then eventually they’re going to pay for it.”