Netflix Ends Embargo on 1080P

July 26, 2011

For some time, the Sony Playstation3 was the only Netflix device that could play a 1080P video stream. Other Netflix devices that could display HD content were limited to 720P. The embargo is now over. The new Roku 2 that was just released includes a new Netflix client that supports 1080P video as well as Dolby Digital surround sound and closed captions. Our friends at Zatz Not Funny have some screen shots of the new interface. Apparently, previous generation Roku devices will not get access to the new Netflix client. That’s disappointing for folks like myself who purchased the XDS. The XDS was advertised as being a 1080P and Dolby Digital capable device (to clarify: it can pass through DD but not decode it). The Hub thought it was just a matter of time before the Netflix client was upgraded to take advantage of the Roku hardware. Furthermore, the XDS has superior dual-band wireless giving it an edge when streaming wireless video. If you’re also disappointed, the Hub encourages you to email Roku at

The other announcement on the 1080P front is that Texas Instruments’ new mobile hardware platform (or chipset), the OMAP 4, has been certified by Netflix to play 1080P video streams. Planned for release later this year, the platform is designed for Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) tablets and mobile devices.

The speculation for some time was that Sony had an exclusive agreement with Netflix to provide 1080P video. That exclusivity appears to be over now. At least when the Playstation network goes down, we’ll have other ways to get the best audio and video available from Netflix. Official word from Netflix is that more 1080P Netflix devices are coming. One question is when? Will existing devices be upgraded? How about devices with the prevalent HTML5 interface? It won’t be easy to tell as Netflix uses the same “HD” badge for both 720P and 1080P content in their user interface. Depending on the size of your TV, you may be hard pressed to tell the difference. Keep your eyes open.

UpdateSee our list of which devices already have or will be getting Netflix 1080P.

Related Posts:
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Tags: Android, Netflix, Playstation3, PS3, Roku, streaming

6 Responses to Netflix Ends Embargo on 1080P

  1. Brandon on July 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Any hope on the PC market for 1080p/5.1 playback?  Personally the audio is a bigger dead than the pixels.

  2. The Hub on July 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    My gut is no because there's no one to advocate for it. If Microsoft pushed, they would go for 1080P on the Xbox before the PC. If Netflix makes it available on the PC, it would be less of a differentiator for set top box makers. It would be interesting to know how Netflix leverages the higher end features with their hardware partners (what did Sony have to give Netflix to have exclusive access to 1080P for at least 6 months)

  3. JohnOCFII on July 26, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    I'd guess the next Apple TV will support 1080P.  The current Apple TV supports 5.1 Dolby Digital.  I believe the new Roku does as well.  One other things that surprised me about the new Roku is that all but the most expensive unit have dropped wired Ethernet.  

  4. ReginaldP on July 27, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Shame that we have to rely on stubborn Xbox exclusive obsessed Microsoft so much. Guys like Nvidia and the dozens of big names in the industry need to pull some weight around.
    The PC get's badly neglected at times and they do next to nothing.

    Microsoft probably dropped some bills to get them to use Silverlight right? They have a little stake in it unless they have given up the fight.

  5. The Hub on July 27, 2011 at 7:30 am

    I was surprised as well about the missing ethernet port. However, I think they had to do it to hit the same price points as before. The market for these devices is very price sensitive.

  6. Asd on September 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    yeah. I would love to see 1080p on the 360 soon but I don't know if it will go through. 

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