Considering that Netflix was the first major company to offer a subscription video on demand streaming model to customers, it makes perfect sense that they've continued to be on the cutting edge of the industry ever since. Netflix was the first streaming service to make having at least the majority of its content be HD a priority, with basically every competing service eventually following suit. Netflix was also the first major streaming service to begin producing original programming, another move that all its big competitors have since copied.
In more recent times, Netflix has entered the realm of 4K resolution, albeit only for a limited amount of its vast library of streaming offerings. Some of the crown jewels of Netflix's 4K content are original Marvel series Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. The first two shows were made available in 4K earlier this year, while Luke Cage has naturally been 4K capable since its September launch.
Of course, technology never stops marching on, and Netflix is wasting no time in marching on with it. Not content just to offer movies and shows in 4K, Netflix announced today per CBR that they will soon begin streaming their first titles in 4K HDR, which stands for high dynamic range and "allows for a greater dynamic range of luminosity in each image." In more practical terms, HDR basically allows for noticeably improved contrast and color ranges than even a non-HDR 4K display. The first Netflix program to receive the HDR treatment will be Daredevil, with Jessica Jones and the other Marvel series to follow. An exact timetable for this upgrade has yet to be specified.
While it's definitely cool to see Netflix continuing its push to bring the best possible video quality to its customers, it's important to note that for the vast majority of users, nothing will really change. After all, one can only see the full benefits of a 4K or 4K HDR transfer on a TV or other display monitor compatible with those technologies. Since 1080p resolution HD LCD TVs still currently rule the roost when it comes to sales, especially with prices on such sets dipping lower and lower every year, it'll be quite some time before 4K catches on at the level 1080p has -- in the same way it took a long time for HD to takeover from 4:3 SD as the standard type of TV sold.
The above point aside, for those early adopters out there, seeing Marvel's street level heroes duke it out with criminal scum in glorious 4K HDR will certainly be a treat. Once the Marvel shows are all successfully upgraded, it'll be interesting to see what Netflix will next select to receive this type of royal treatment.
Daredevil seasons 1 and 2, Jessica Jones season 1, and Luke Cage season 1 are now available on Netflix. Iron Fist will premiere on March 17, 2017. The Defenders and The Punisher will arrive in 2017. Premiere dates for the newest seasons of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Luke Cage have not yet been announced.