Netflix has stated that the company's goal is to stream content in the 4K format by 2014 or so. Netflix recently started offering Super HD and 3D streams
your ISP has signed up for the company's new content delivery network. Super HD streams need 5-7 Mbps of bandwidth, while 3D streams need 6-12 Mbps of bandwidth. Rather unsurprisingly, 4K video streams will eat substantially more bandwidth than both.
"Going forward we’ll see more and more 4K, and that will work really well over the Internet," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings stated last week at the Copenhagen Future of TV Conference.
"It’s around 15 megabits per second," Hastings stated when asked about 4K streaming bandwidth needs. "It’s not too bad. If you've got a 50-megabit connection you’ll be fine."
Obviously slower speeds will seen higher compression, and Netflix has yet to clarify what compression they'll use. Unfortunately, there's wide swaths of people in the United States that still only have access to DSL services that are slower than 6 Mbps. There's also the rising issue of bandwidth caps and per byte overages -- which certainly won't play well with 4K video.
Given very low early adoption, Hastings doesn't think the bandwidth needs of 4K video will really strain ISP network anytime soon. "...As an overall system load, it will grow quite slowly and steadily, giving people lots of time to build the infrastructure," insists Hastings.