If you’re watching shows like Narcos and Stranger Things on a mobile phone, tablet or even the computer, you’re not getting the full picture. We tell you why you should get comfy on your couch and maximize the full potential that Netflix streaming can bring to the TV.
There’s really nothing wrong with catching a show on mobile devices, but none of them compare to the experience a TV offers. Screen size difference aside, the TVs oftoday contain several technologies that offer crisp image quality, realistic effects and ease of access. These include 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging, which will be discussed further.
Sadly, not everyone’s harnessing the power of their TV. A GlobalWebIndex market report on media consumption showed that Smart TV ownership in Singapore stands at 35%, but only 17% of these users connect their Smart TVs to an online app like Netflix.
Couple this with the fact that Netflix users in Singapore spend only 44.4% of their viewing hours watching streamed content on TV, a sharp decrease when compared to the global equivalent of 63.8%, and you’ll realize that there’s plenty that streaming users here are missing out on.
But first, here’s a quick lesson on 4K and HDR’s capabilities.
A huge step up from full HD resolution, 4K is fast becoming the mainstream standard in the TV market. It contains four times more pixels than full HD, resulting in added image clarity and details. Yes, that means added creepiness if you’re glued to Stranger Things, which has been renewed for a second season.
If both your TV and the content you choose on Netflix support 4K, you’ll get to enjoy quality visuals in that resolution without having to make any manual adjustments.
But if the content doesn’t come in 4K, fret not. The good news is that your TV will still screen it in full HD resolution, which is pretty reasonable still.
High Dynamic Range is the new buzzword in the world of 4K TVs, as it expands the range of color levels to make visuals more vibrant and more realistic when compared to the real world. These gifs from Netflix’s epic battle drama Marco Polo offer a glimpse of what HDR can offer:
Head to any good electronics retailer and you’ll find plenty of TVs on sale. Take a closer look and you might find a handful with this “Netflix Recommended TV” sticker on them:
This is a “badge of honor”, given to TVs which contain technical features that enhance the Netflix streaming experience. Besides offering 4K resolution, these TVs include playback resumption, fast app launch and have easy navigation menus. Brands that are on board so far include LG, Samsung and Sony.
If you already own a Smart TV that supports Netflix streaming, chances are you might not feel that it’s time for an upgrade. And you don’t have to, for now. You’d be pretty satisfied with what a typical Full HD TV can offer.
But should you desire for cinematic quality in the comforts of home and decide to go for all the frills, then an upgrade to a 4K and HDR TV is necessary. In fact, go for one that’s been listed as a “Netflix Recommended TV” to reap the most benefits.
Prices for a 4K TV start at around S$1,199. If budget’s a concern, you can wait till next year, when 4K and HDR technologies become more readily available for mid-tier TVs, giving you affordable options to make the switch. Do it before the new season of shows like Narcos hits the screen. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.