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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Samsung bets on 4K Amazon and Netflix streaming to make UHD TV more tempting

House of Cards
House of Cards was the first Netflix show shown in 4K.
Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET

Samsung is doubling down on 4K films and TV. The Korean company is adding 4K Amazon streaming and bringing 4K Netflix to Europe, so you can enjoy eye-scorching detail on your Ultra High Definition television.

UHD, also known as 4K, is the next step after high definition, with a resolution of 3,840×2,160 pixels — four times that of full HD. It’s still new enough that not only are the TVs expensive, but if you do invest there’s precious little to watch that takes advantage of the whopping resolution. That means it’s in the interests of manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony to help provide stuff for you to watch in order to persuade you to fork out for the TV.

As such, Samsung TVs will be able to stream movies and TV in UHD from Amazon’s video streaming on-demand service from October. That will be available “globally”, although Samsung hasn’t confirmed exactly which countries that includes.

What else is on?

And having launched UHD Netflix in April across the US and other countries — starting with smash hit political potboiler “House of Cards” — Samsung will now show Netflix UHD streaming for viewers in Europe.

4K movies and TV will also be available from German service Maxdome, Italian service Chili, and Wuaki.tv, which is available in the UK and Spain.

Samsung has dipped its toes into UHD content with the 4K broadcast of World Cup warm-up matches from Portugese broadcaster Meo, and opera from Austria, live-streaming Placido Domingo belting out “Nabucco” through the Vienna Opera App. In the next year, 10 more performances are planned in UHD, including a performance of “Die Fledermaus” on New Year’s Eve.

In its home country Korea, Samsung began UHD broadcasts in April with cable provider CJ Hello Vision. That will extend to CNM and T-Broad before the end of the year.

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