Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) plans to provide more content in HDR or High Dynamic Range in 2016. The video-streaming firm, which earlier in January revealed an ambitious plan to expand worldwide, is looking to push for more original shows, creating better Netflix mobile apps on iOS and Android, as well as supporting HDR programming. The company hasn’t particularly held back its enthusiasm for HDR technology before, but now it plans to go all out in 2016.
At the recent Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Netflix revealed more details on their plans for subscribers. ‘ We started exploring HDR content about one year ago,’ said Chris Jaffe, vice president of user interface innovation at Netflix, speaking to Engadget. ‘It is the [obvious] next-level resolution in the playback experience’.
Season 1 of Marco Polo and the highly anticipated Season 2 of Daredevil will both be released in HDR.
HDR May Hit Slow Internet Bump
There is a reason why it will be quite some time before Netflix becomes truly successful world over. Slow internet speeds. According to Statista, the average global internet connection speed is 5.1 Mbps. The amount of internet bandwidth required for delivering, say 4K videos, is quite staggering, usually more than 20 Mbps. Jaffe is quite aware of this problem and says that Netflix has worked out various compression algorithms, which will allow the video quality to be adjusted based on its complexity and still be offered at a high resolution. However, to avoid any buffering woes, it is still recommended that you have 16-20 Mbps connection. So unfortunately, people living in countries with slow internet speeds are not going to have the pleasure of watching HDR videos for quite some time. The video streaming service also has more than 600 hours of 4K programming in store- a major part of its strategy- but again, this is Ultra HD content meant only for countries having blazing fast internet connections.
New shows in 2016, iOS app launch tomorrow
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) will launch 30 shows in 2016, which includes new seasons for popular TV series such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, as well as 10 original movies and several documentaries and content exclusively for kids. ‘[We have] 75 million members around the world; essentially that means 75 million different experiences,’ says Jaffe, mentioning the challenge the company faces in providing something for everyone, and the algorithm that is used to make recommendations on what you should watch.
Netflix is also scheduled to launch a new iOS app for its service on February 24, which will have support for Arabic subtitles and auto-play episodes. Later in 2016, the firm’s iOS and Android applications will also allow you to control your data usage, in case your smartphone or tablet plan is capped and you want to limit streaming to a particular quality.
Also, if you are a Chromecast user, you can expect a second-screen experience to be available soon, which will allow you access to IMDB-like metadata from your iOS or Android device. If you want to know who an actor is or what movie they are acting in, you will be able to do it directly through the app.