Here's how Netflix could stream 8K TV shows (2024)

Here's how Netflix could stream 8K TV shows (1)

While 8K TVs aren’t exactly ten-a-penny these days, there’s no denying that displays sporting the ultra-high resolution are growing in number – and that their fortunes will be inextricably tied up with support for 8K content in the coming years.

You won’t get anything like 8K on Netflix, Disney Plus, or similar streaming services for one, given the huge amounts of data that need to be transferred over an internet connection. But technologies are emerging that could reduce this problem.

The 8K Association reports that the kind of video encoding utilised by Netflix may offer a strategy for transferring 8K video manageably. This “per title encoding” – also known as “content-aware encoding” by the Ultra HD Forum – effectively encodes videos on a “scene-by-scene basis”, packaging up content into more easily transferred parts than attempting to move a file in full. It’s a bit like getting a bicycle in the mail in five different boxes, rather than one giant box that will be much harder to transit.

  • Best Netflix shows to watch right now
  • 8K resolution explained
  • The best 4K Blu-ray players

The 8K Association writes that “‘per-title encoding’ is a Netflix term that refers to creating encoding parameters on a scene-by-scene basis. Before introducing this approach, encoding typically used the same parameters over an entire piece of content, which can waste a lot of bits. Other techniques can encode on a frame basis.”

This technique is something that’s already in practice, aiding the “OTT delivery of very high resolutions” such as 4K, and reducing streaming bandwidths by 25-40% during heavy-usage periods like the first lockdown in early 2020.

But it will only become more crucial as and when providers try to deliver 8K videos through platforms like Netflix, given that 8K packs in four times as many pixels as 4K video. File transfer specialists at Signiant state that “raw 4K footage files like those in the acquisition phase of film production are already huge, averaging about 6000 GB for 90 minutes. However, in 8K, files are nearly three times that size."

Disc world

Of course, there is a more local solution to 8K TV shows and movies, and that’s in the form of the 8K Blu-ray and 8K Blu-ray player. While you won’t find anything of the sort in retailers just yet, we know from our time interviewing data transfer specialists in the industry that the technology is possible, and that manufacturers really just have to decide whether or not to pursue distribution of pricey disc-playing hardware for a still-small coterie of 8K TV owners.

Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox

Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the TechRadar team.

“What we’re trying to determine is if distribution of 8K Blu-rays is worthwhile pursuing,” says data compression specialist QuVis. “And it's a huge challenge. Could you put [an 8K movie] on a Blu-ray disc and send it out? Maybe – but I don’t know that this is going to be the savior of Blu-ray. For us, we’re just saying that we can do it.”

The ever-improving upscaling abilities of 8K TV processors may make this all a moot question too. If TV chipsets can turn 4K content into a convincing facsimile of 8K, then the hassle of sourcing native 8K content – over either Wi-Fi or a cabled disc player – doesn’t feel as urgent or necessary.

In the meantime, of course, many of you reading may just be hoping to get a steady 4K picture over your internet connection. If you’re ready to make the move to 8K though, here is our best 8K TV guide.

  • 8K Blu-ray players are possible – but will they happen?
  • These are the best Netflix VPN to get more from your sub

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.

More about netflix

Netflix just announced 4 new comedies, including a big Adam Sandler sequel – here are all the detailsNetflix's Terminator anime series gets some gorgeous first-look images – and they confirm Sarah Connor won't be back


Amazon's Memorial Day sale is slashing prices on Beats headphones - save 49%
See more latest►

Most Popular
Scientists have created an ultra resistant storage solution that can resist temperatures of 1100°F — shame that it will only be available in megabyte capacities for a foreseeable future
New leak points to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 and Galaxy Watch FE launching soon
Independent auditors confirm top VPN's privacy claims
ICYMI: the week's 7 biggest news stories, from spectacular AI upgrades to new iPads and Fujifilm cameras
One of the biggest credit card companies is quietly introducing a secret AI weapon to combat billion-dollar financial fraud — Visa will verify every single transaction in real time to eliminate rampant enumeration attacks
Google's Live Caption may soon become more emotionally expressive on Android
Quordle today – hints and answers for Saturday, May 18 (game #845)
NYT Strands today — hints, answers and spangram for Saturday, May 18 (game #76)
This devious Wi-Fi security flaw could let hackers eavesdrop on your network with ease
The Tom's Guide Awards are coming soon – here's how to submit your products
New Galaxy Book4 Edge will come in two models sporting 3K displays and a new Qualcomm chipset
Here's how Netflix could stream 8K TV shows (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Frankie Dare

Last Updated:

Views: 5771

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Frankie Dare

Birthday: 2000-01-27

Address: Suite 313 45115 Caridad Freeway, Port Barabaraville, MS 66713

Phone: +3769542039359

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Baton twirling, Stand-up comedy, Leather crafting, Rugby, tabletop games, Jigsaw puzzles, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Frankie Dare, I am a funny, beautiful, proud, fair, pleasant, cheerful, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.