For those like myself who love binging on Netflix and crave only the highest quality available, there are some great news coming straight from Netflix. All Netflix members, regardless of their Internet service provider (ISP), will now have access to the highest quality HD streams available on Netflix. This means that 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. Netflix initially rolled out Super HD in January only through ISPs with a direct connection to Netflix. Based on the performance data they have seen, and in response to member requests, Netflix is now expanding availability to give all their members the ability to enjoy Netflix in the best possible quality.
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. Netflix continues to encourage ISPs to adopt Netflix Open Connect, their highly optimized video content delivery network. Open Connect is available at no cost to ISPs and is designed to deliver the best possible Netflix experience by storing the TV shows and movies Netflix members want to watch as close to them as possible. Note that HD and Super HD are only available on certain titles and can only be displayed on devices that support HD.
A source at CNET says that one broadband provider cried foul at “Super HD” being limited to some ISPs. Time Warner Cable said Netflix closed off access to some content formats while seeking preferential treatment from ISPs, even though TWC’s network was capable of delivering the higher-quality format without being part of the network.
Netflix stated that performance data and member requests prompted it to expand the higher bit-rate picture quality to all members.
Netflix added that “members who subscribe to an ISP with a direct Netflix connection will get the best experience.” The site uses adaptive streaming to adjust video quality based on available bandwidth, so users will receive “Super HD” picture quality if their service can handle it.
Regardless, this is great news especially during the rise of 4K television sets and the migration from 1080p. Netflix is still continuing to make great strides to remain the top provider for great television programs, documentaries and films ld and new, and now with the new Super HD implementation, Netflix subscribers old and new will have access to the highest possible quality regardless of internet service provider making sure no one gets shut out by the Super HD implementation.
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