If you’re wondering why Netflix would label standard full HD 1080p video resolution as ‘Super HD’, that’s because Super HD applies less compression to the 1080p image for greater clarity.
Now, Super HD video requires more data so it isn’y surprising that not many Internet providers were on board after Netflix soft-launched Super HD and 3D streaming in January 2012.
As of today, Super HD video streaming is available everywhere, regardless of your Internet service provider (but dependent on network conditions). Jump past the fold for the full breakdown…
According to the company blog, Super HD high-bitrate 1080p streams are provided through Netflix’s Open Connect caching hardware, available at no cost to Internet service providers.
Netflix says these high-quality streams use adaptive streaming method which dynamically adjusts the video quality based on the available bandwidth. This also means your ability to receive Super HD depends on broadband quality and performance.
Specifically, Super HD streams require an Internet connection speed of at least 5Mb/s, with 7Mb/s for the highest available video quality.
Here’s a quick video overview of the Netflix Open Connect platform.
In a nutshell, the Netflix Open Connect system taps your Internet service provider’s infrastructure to reduce latency and improve image quality by storing oft-accessed TV shows and movies on its storage appliances located in or near your provider’s network, as close to you as possible.
“Netflix members who subscribe to an ISP with a direct Netflix connection will get the best experience,” the company wrote. Movies and TV shows that are available in Super HD are denoted by the Super HD logo on the description page.
Yes, Netflix-exclusive House of Cards is available in Super HD. The company is also rumored to add 4K streams to its service in the future.
According to this support article, Netflix now offers Super HD streaming on many boxes, including the third-generation Apple TV, PlayStation 3, TiVo Premiere DVR, Nintendo Wii U, Roku with 1080p, Blu-Ray players, Smart TVs, home theaters and streaming players with existing Netflix 1080p support.
Support for more devices is “coming soon”.
The service costs $7.99 a month and the first month is free.
As you know, Netflix also comes built-in on the Apple TV. Speaking of which, Apple earlier today updated its $99 set-top box with the new Major League Soccer and Disney Junior channels.