Blu-ray Version of 4K Streams Will Impact the Industry

Three questions confront the OTT industry — and broadband service providers also:

1. How much bandwidth will be required to stream the upcoming Blu-ray implementation of 4K?

That is the “fully loaded” 4K that will come on the new 4K Blu-ray discs that, along with new 4K Blu-ray players, are expected to available for this year’s holiday shopping season.

4K streams are currently only the “basic” 4K and require anywhere from 5 Mbps to 25 Mbps depending on which OTT service you ask.

Netflix, the most popular 4K OTT site, says 20 Mbps. Its Web site says, “To get the highest quality Netflix experience in Ultra HD 4K, we recommend available bandwidth of at least 20 Mbps. This provides enough throughput for the stream, which is about 16Mbps, plus headroom for service variability.”

Amazon says at least 15 Mbps is needed for 4K streams from its Prime service. Both stream the “basic” version of 4K.

2. How much more bandwidth will be needed for features such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) that are not in the “basic” 4K?

3. Will Western Digital‘s Vidity compatibility be necessary for OTT services that download 4K videos that have been downloaded to a user’s local storage?

We asked Aaron Taylor, EVP of sales and marketing at UltraFlix’s owner NanoTech. Here is a compilation of our questions and his answers.

The Online Reporter: When do you plan to stream Blu-ray quality 4K? How much bandwidth does it take?
Taylor: This year. 50 Mbps.

TOR: How much more bandwidth is needed for 4K with HDR than from “plain” 4K?
Taylor: 10-15% more bandwidth for HDR.

TOR: What do you think about Vidity? We just bought a Western Digital Vidity box, the My Passport Cinema 4K
Taylor: “TBD.”

As you can see, Taylor gives direct and terse answers. We take the “TBD” to mean NanoTech is still studying and evaluating Vidity, waiting…

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About the Author

The Online Reporter is the weekly subscription-based strategy bulletin about the enabling technologies of broadband, Wi-Fi, HDR, home networks, UHD 4K TV & OTT services; identifying trends in the Digital Media space. Only a fraction of our material here is published here. To see 4 free copies, follow the links above or go to

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