Netflix 4K Streaming Video Doesn't Look Very Good Yet

Samsung and Netflix have been working together on a 4K video solution for the Ultra HD world we're entering. I just saw a demo of some of the 4K streaming content, and it's horrifying. They're going to have to work harder to not suck the life out of the video.

The 4K streaming video demo is running on a pair of televisions at the back of the Samsung booth, and there's no explanation of what's going on—whether we're looking at compressed HD video running natively on the Ultra HD screen or some other technology altogether. But let's just say they better keep at it. The video's drab colors are bland and boring. The content is grainy and cold compared to the awesome beauty UHD TVs are capable of. In fact in the Samsung booth you almost don't see the Netflix exhibit. Walk up close to the screen and you can see the dots. The whole point is that you shouldn't be able to!

You could say "wow look how terrible this video isn't," but I'd rather say: we can do better. Netflix has mastered the art of sending rad 1920 x 1080 content to your house, but the world is overrun with massive amounts of humongous 4K content—or at least content that needs to be scaled to 3840 × 2160—we're going to need a better solution.

That day's a long way off, so at least the companies are working on the problem now.