The internet bridges the divide
Without a physical media device such as Blu-ray to move content globally, 4K looked like it would be off to a sluggish start since
there was no readily available solution for consumers to appreciate the advances in quality that native 4K content brings.
While 4K content is somewhat struggling to make its way across television and cable networks, the internet has taken on the role of the great enabler – other than Netflix’s 4K service, YouTube has a dedicated 4K channel, and Amazon Studios has also made a commitment to film all of their original series content in 4K. Other than their own content, Amazon has also reached out to top Hollywood studios and TV programmers like Warner Bros, Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox and Discovery to offer customers a premium 4K experience via their Instant Video service.
It will probably take a while for television broadcast networks to put the infrastructure in place to comfortably transmit 4K, but internet users simply need a fast ( and robust) enough connection. Netflix estimates that a 4K transmission requires a data rate of about 15Mbps on average, and recommends at least a 20Mbps connection. That’s slightly above the global average of 18.5Mbps, but it is well within the range of the current internet speeds enjoyed in countries such as Singapore, where affordable nextgeneration consumer fiber broadband has reached speeds of 1Gbps.
YouTube now supports 4K viewing options.