Netflix touts new Super HD image quality for (almost) all

Netflix is locked in a heated battle for your streaming dollars. Rivals Amazon Prime and Redbox Instant, to name just two, are on a mission to knock the king off the hill. Today the video giant announces a new weapon in its arsenal — better HD coming to subscribers everywhere.

“The great TV shows and movies on Netflix will look even better on HD screens with a higher bit rate stream, Super HD, that applies less compression to the 1080p image”, says Joris Evers, director of corporate communications at Netflix.

The Super HD service has been around since January, but was previously only available through ISP’s with a direct connection to Netflix. Now the company reports that, based on the performance data, it can begin expanding availability to give all customers the ability to see Netflix in the best possible quality.

The announcement comes with a caveat — “Netflix uses ‘adaptive streaming’ to dynamically adjust the video quality based on the available bandwidth. This means that the ability to receive Super HD depends on broadband quality and performance. Netflix members who subscribe to an ISP with a direct Netflix connection will get the best experience”.

The clear meaning is that not everyone will get the “Super HD” service, and it is surely meant as a method of pressuring ISP’s to adopt Netflix Open Connect. The video service does not actually profit from adoption — it offers the service for free. The financial gain is expected to come on the backend, where better streaming service and quality has the potential to lead to more subscriptions.

Image Credit: ArtFamily / Shutterstock


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