Netflix's Neil Hunt believes 4K content "will likely be streamed first before it goes anywhere else" and it seems the company's original smash hit series House of Cards was produced with just that in mind. In outlining plans to deliver ultra high-def content to Netflix subscribers within the next year or two, Hunt confirmed to The Verge that House of Cards was filmed in 4K from the start. "Our own original House of Cards was shot in 4K," he said. "It's being mastered in full HD, but the raw footage, or a good chunk of it, was shot in 4K, and we hope to have some House of Cards 4K encodes later this year." What's unclear is how quickly US broadband providers will be up to the task of streaming those encodes to consumers. 4K is still a nascent living room technology and we don't envision demand soaring in the next year or two, so Netflix has time to work out a viable strategy.
The news isn't entirely surprising: David Fincher — who directed the first two episodes — is a big advocate of the format. His motion pictures The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo were both shot in 4K, and Fincher has outlined plans to stick with the resolution for his future projects. Still, recording in 4K no doubt contributed to the massive investment Netflix made in House of Cards. It seems those lucky enough to own a 4K set won't need to wait long to see that commitment pay off.
Update: We've updated the article's headline so that it's consistent with Hunt's statement that Netflix plans to deliver 4K within "a year or two."