When the next season of the popular Netflix original show House of Cards begins, the company will start testing HEVC H.265 compression. This compression technology, which is about twice as efficient as AVC H.264, allows for higher quality content to be streamed while managing to conserve data. The main drive for the use of HEVC H.265 compression technology is 4K streaming content, which will be exclusively available on upcoming smart televisions. Netflix has partnered with unspecified manufacturers that will be announcing their new 4K smart televisions at CES. Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt stated that next generation consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One may be able to stream 4K content later down the road, but that it is not feasible at this point in time.
Hunt did mention that as HEVC decoders become a reality and the encoders become more efficient, all SD and HD content provided by Netflix will be able to be recoded for a better and faster viewing experience. In terms of the data connection required to view upcoming 4K content, Hunt is estimating that the content will be delivered around 15Mbps.