Netflix begins testing 4K video with goal of 2014 launch

As 4K televisions pick up speed in the consumer market and prices begin to drop, demand for 4K content is increasing, and it seems Netflix is aiming to be on the forefront. The video service has been testing 4K video streaming, and has recently added a handful of Ultra HD resolution videos to its catalog. If all goes as planned, Netflix hopes to begin providing Ultra HD-resolution content in 2014.

The 4K video content the service has added isn't in the form of television shows or movies, instead being internal testing footage that others can access and view to see how the quality looks on their Ultra HD televisions. A half-dozen or so videos were added, including El Fuente: 24 MP, which is a selection stock-like footage in Ultra HD resolution at 24 frames per second.

How the anticipated Ultra HD video launch next year will come about hasn't been specified — some think the service will first roll it out with its own content, of which it has a couple series (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black) that could perhaps be made available in 4K. In time, there could also be licensing that allow the video service to provide other television shows and movies in the higher resolution.

At the end of the day, Netflix users now have an option for checking out streaming 4K videos on their television, if only in the form of test footage right now. Keep in mind that Netflix offers test footage that isn't in 4K video, as well, so make sure you pick the right resolution when checking out the quality, otherwise you might be disappointed.