Netflix has announced that they'll no longer require that ISPs join Netflix's Open Connect Content Delivery Network if they want to offer subscribers "Super HD" and 3D video streams. Netflix announced they'd be offering Super HD and 3D streams back in January
, but broadband customers could only access that content if their ISP used Netflix's CDN.
Netflix announced that they'd be untethering the SuperHD option from their CDN in a blog post
"Based on the performance data we've seen, and in response to member requests, we are now expanding availability to give all our members the ability to enjoy Netflix in the best possible quality," said Netflix's Joris Evers.
Netflix had also been using their monthly ranking of ISP video streaming performance, started back in 2011
, to "name and shame" ISPs who didn't partner with Netflix. Use Netflix's CDN and your performance in the rankings would magically skyrocket
, something Sandvine recently criticized
for being scientifically dubious at best.
Netflix, traditionally a network neutrality advocate, had also taken criticism from ISPs for being hypocritical when it came to witholding content from companies not willing to be CDN partners.
"While they call it 'Open Connect,' Netflix is actually closing off access to some of its content while seeking unprecedented preferential treatment from ISPs," Time Warner Cable complained back in January
. "We believe it is wrong for Netflix to withhold any content formats from our subscribers and the subscribers of many other ISPs," said the company. Time Warner Cable would prefer you ignore they have a rather rich history doing just that sort of thing
According to Netflix, Super HD streams need at least 5 Mbps of bandwidth, though the highest quality is obtained at 7 Mbps. 3D streams need at least 6 Mbps of bandwidth, with the highest quality needing 12 Mbps. The company also recently stated they'd be offering 4K video streams in 2014
that will require at least 15 Mbps of throughput.