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New 4K-Capable PS4 And Xbox One Consoles Coming This Year, Predicts Netflix

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mocoworm

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More at the link:

[EDIT] This is the guy who contributed the article:

John Archer said:
I've spent the past 20 years writing about the world of home entertainment technology--first at Home Cinema Choice magazine, where I became Deputy Editor, and for the past 17 years on a freelance basis. In that time I'm fairly confident that I've reviewed more TVs and projectors than any other individual on the planet, as well as experiencing first-hand the rise and fall of all manner of great and not so great home entertainment technologies.

I am currently a regular contributor to The Sunday Times, Ideal Home, Trustedreviews.com, Techradar.com, Home Cinema Choice magazine, Wired, and, of course, Forbes.
[EDIT]

HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 are two different things. HDMI is the video output, HDCP is content protection. HDCP 2.2 in hardware is what Netflix and Amazon requires for 4k streaming. Neither the PS4 or the XBone support HDCP 2.2.

HDCP 2.2 has been around for about 1 1/2yrs.
People shouldn't ignore this post. I have no idea whether the HDCP 2.2 requirement from the Amazon/Netflix side is correct, but if it is it explains their hardware expectation.

ORIGINAL POST

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnarcher/2015/02/02/new-4k-capable-ps4-and-xbox-one-consoles-coming-this-year-predicts-netflix/

With sales of 4K TVs set to balloon in 2015 and more native 4K content sources appearing week by week, the continuing inability of the PS4 and Xbox One consoles to deliver any sort of 4K action is starting to look more and more uncomfortable. So much so that video streaming giant Netflix NFLX -0.93% – arguably the most significant current supplier of native 4K UHD content – believes that new 4K-friendly versions of both consoles will be delivered this coming fall.

Netflix first started talking about this publicly at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in January when, according to The Huffington Post, Netflix’s Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt suggested during a press conference about Netflix’s support for High Dynamic Range technology that Sony had ‘promised’ a PS4 hardware revision that would give the console 4K video capabilities.

When I contacted Netflix for more background on this statement it understandably declined to provide more detail on the reported Sony ‘promise’, stressing that clearly it isn’t in a position to speak definitively on Sony’s plans. Netflix did, though, provide more detail on the thought processes Hunt was alluding to during the CES press conference. Namely that he believes that when both the PS4 and Xbox One consoles do their traditional two-year hardware refresh (which would be due around October or November) they will add the necessary components to deliver 4K video playback.
I’ve approached both Sony and Microsoft MSFT -0.24% for comment, but both have declined to confirm any such hardware adjustments – hardly surprising given that neither console maker will be keen on potentially disrupting sales of current hardware by talking of potential future iterations. For the record, Microsoft’s exact words were “We remain committed to bringing leading entertainment features and services to the living room. Beyond that, we have nothing to share at this time”, while Sony said “Support for high-resolution 4K output for still images and movie content is in consideration, but there are no further details to share at this time”.

Sony and Microsoft’s continued deafening silence where 4K is concerned is arguably revealing, though, about how far off the 4K pace the current PS4 and Xbox One consoles are. After all, Netflix started streaming 4K content as far back as April 2014, and Amazon has been running a 4K service since December, yet neither console maker is prepared yet, nearly 18 months after the consoles launched, to talk seriously about their 4K potential. This is despite Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida being on record at IGN from before the PS4’s launch as saying that Sony’s console would support 4K output for photos and videos.
In short, it’s hard not to share Netflix’s apparent view that the current PS4s and Xbox Ones need hardware rather than software upgrades to handle serious 4K streaming.

So what hardware changes might we expect to see from the predicted new consoles? First and foremost a chip for decoding the HEVC 4K UHD streaming format employed by both Netflix and Amazon. But it would also be hugely sensible for both consoles to upgrade their HDMI ports from 1.4 versions (which can only carry 4K at 30fps) to 2.0 versions which can take 4K at 60fps.

You can deliver 4K video and high-resolution sound via the latest generation of USB ports; this is the way Samsung’s UHD movie server connects to its current TVs, in fact. But people now expect HDMI to be their main TV connection, and there’s no particularly massive cost implication with using HDMI 2.0 ports over 1.4 versions these days.


If Netflix is proved right about the new console iterations, a big question for Sony and Microsoft will be how they manage the potential backlash from the tens of millions of people who already own ‘original’ PS4s and Xbox Ones. One solution could be to launch an external peripheral – though while this could deliver the HEVC decoding, it’s hard to see how it could overcome the current HDMI limitation.
One last point to stress here is that if Netflix’s predictions of new 4K-capable consoles this year come true, the upgrade will almost certainly only affect video streaming; 4K gaming looks set to remain exclusively the domain of high-end PC owners. Sony pointedly added at the end of its response to my query about 4K that “The PS4 does not currently support 4K output for gaming”. Though even here Sony couldn’t resist using the word ‘currently’…
 

Dictator93

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Dont they already support '4K?' Just @ 30hz and with no chance for any game of modern graphical quality to be rendered at 4k.
I am having a hard time seeing what in their hardware is preventing a 4k output, beyond a firmware update to unlock it.
 

Sodding_Gamer

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Hmmmm maybe that leaked ps4 hardware revision wasn't a hardware revision at all of the ps4 itself, just an add on to play 4K? ala the hdd of the ps2? Just a complete wild guess of course.
 

Kilau

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Is there any hardware reason they both can't display 4k video through an update?

I don't have a 4k TV anyway, but I would like to get a new TV this year.
 

mocoworm

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Dont they already support '4K?' Just @ 30hz and with no chance for any game of modern graphical quality to be rendered at 4k.


I am having a hard time seeing what in their hardware is preventing a 4k output, beyond a firmware update to unlock it.
This isn't about gaming, I think it is regarding movie playback.
 

Red

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Is 4K streaming any good? Quality wise?

Because 1080p streaming isn't even as good as Blu-Ray :/
Quality-wise it seems about as good as 1080p thus far, but with the advantage of those many extra pixels. It is crisper than 1080p, and can be quite impressive in some situations.

I'd like to know if any content providers will be utilizing the higher-efficiency codecs of 4K for the delivery of 2K content.
 

Orayn

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Hmmmm maybe that leaked ps4 hardware revision wasn't a hardware revision at all of the ps4 itself, just an add on to play 4K? ala the hdd of the ps2? Just a complete wild guess of course.
As others have said, it wouldn't require a hardware add-on. Both systems can handle 4K video fine, they just might need a firmware update.
 

ShapeGSX

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4k support should just be a firmware update. HDMI 1.3a can support 4k at 60fps at reduced color resolution and 4k at 30 or 24fps at full color resolution.
 

Derpcrawler

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Is 4K streaming any good? Quality wise?

Because 1080p streaming isn't even as good as Blu-Ray :/
What? As long as your internet allows it, you will get Blu-Ray like quality, which requires stable 20Mbps bandwidth (read: no drops bellow 20Mbps). I tried 4K Netflix, seems like it averages around 35-40Mbps.
 

Kaydan

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Pretty sure the Xbox One is 4K capable for video content. Major Nelson even pointed out the 4K capable HDMI cable in his unboxing video.

Edit: Beaten...
 

mocoworm

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The PS4 supports 4K menus and video content iirc. Just not games.

Edit: quote

http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/02/21/playstation-4-wont-support-4k-games-3d-not-a-focus
"The PS4 supports 4K output, but only for photos and videos — not games,"

http://m.ign.com/articles/2013/02/21/playstation-4-wont-support-4k-games-3d-not-a-focus
This is what Forbes say:

I’ve approached both Sony and Microsoft for comment, but both have declined to confirm any such hardware adjustments – hardly surprising given that neither console maker will be keen on potentially disrupting sales of current hardware by talking of potential future iterations. For the record, Microsoft’s exact words were “We remain committed to bringing leading entertainment features and services to the living room. Beyond that, we have nothing to share at this time”, while Sony said “Support for high-resolution 4K output for still images and movie content is in consideration, but there are no further details to share at this time”.

Sony and Microsoft’s continued deafening silence where 4K is concerned is arguably revealing, though, about how far off the 4K pace the current PS4 and Xbox One consoles are. After all, Netflix started streaming 4K content as far back as April 2014, and Amazon has been running a 4K service since December, yet neither console maker is prepared yet, nearly 18 months after the consoles launched, to talk seriously about their 4K potential. This is despite Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida being on record at IGN from before the PS4’s launch as saying that Sony’s console would support 4K output for photos and videos.
 

chadskin

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In the XB1 SDK it says the GPU "can emit a final output signal of up to 1080p stereo 3D at 60 Hz".
 

MaulerX

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Pretty sure the Xbox One is 4K capable for video content. Major Nelson even pointed out the 4K capable HDMI cable in his unboxing video.


This. Both systems were said to support 4K for videos.
 
Apr 9, 2014
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I don't plan to buy another TV for another 5 years atleast as I just bought a 2014 Bravia KDL-700B series LED TV. Will current HD tvs be able to support a upscaled 4k picture on the consoles once they update the firmware to support 4K streaming?
 

bomblord1

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How much ram is needed for a 4K framebuffer?

Also, what Internet speed is required for 4K content because my 50MBPS connection sometimes lags when watching 1080p Netflix/Crunchyroll vids (that could also be their servers though).
 

mocoworm

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Forbes seem to think new hardware is needed. Outlined here:

Forbes said:
In short, it’s hard not to share Netflix’s apparent view that the current PS4s and Xbox Ones need hardware rather than software upgrades to handle serious 4K streaming.

So what hardware changes might we expect to see from the predicted new consoles? First and foremost a chip for decoding the HEVC 4K UHD streaming format employed by both Netflix and Amazon. But it would also be hugely sensible for both consoles to upgrade their HDMI ports from 1.4 versions (which can only carry 4K at 30fps) to 2.0 versions which can take 4K at 60fps.

You can deliver 4K video and high-resolution sound via the latest generation of USB ports; this is the way Samsung’s UHD movie server connects to its current TVs, in fact. But people now expect HDMI to be their main TV connection, and there’s no particularly massive cost implication with using HDMI 2.0 ports over 1.4 versions these days.


If Netflix is proved right about the new console iterations, a big question for Sony and Microsoft will be how they manage the potential backlash from the tens of millions of people who already own ‘original’ PS4s and Xbox Ones. One solution could be to launch an external peripheral – though while this could deliver the HEVC decoding, it’s hard to see how it could overcome the current HDMI limitation.
 

Duxxy3

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Would expect a small internal revision for the PS4. Massive overhaul for the XB1.
 

Wag

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In order to output the 4k streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, etc, the PS4 and XBone both need HDCP 2.2 protection in hardware (and most likely HDMI 2.0 support as well), so both devices will need an update.

Both Netflix and Amazon have stated they refuse to offer 4k streaming services on any device that doesn't support HDCP 2.2 protection in hardware, that's why you'll never see Netflix 4k streaming on current PCs for example (at least until the next gen videocards arrive) even though most higher end PCs are more than capable of handling it..
 

EL CUCO

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Both Xbox One and PS4 don't support 4K output even in menus, I have both 4K capable TV and PC monitor, there is just no option for 4K output on neither XB1 nor PS4.
I'm guessing it'll need a firmware update. I imagine Yoshida knows what he's talking about...and especially with Sony being heavily involved in 4K content
 
Apr 9, 2014
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considering still can't get decent 1080p performance nor a great looking 1080p stream I think we are many years away needing a 4k PS4 or Xbox one.
Netflix on the PS4 has some really good quality 1080p streams. The blacklist, Marco Polo, and that kevin costner movie are a few recent films I tested via stream.
 

androvsky

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I wonder if it's maybe needing an optimized h.265 codec that is the hangup. I remember both systems released 3D blu-ray support within a week of each other, which suggested to me both companies were waiting on a codec drop from AMD.
 
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