The 4K High-Def Revolution Is Coming -- but Not Quite Yet

The high-def revolution took off in 2008, replacing standard cathode ray tubes everywhere with 1080p flat-screens. The sea change rode on the back of Blu-ray players and HD cable channels.

Now there's a second HD revolution in the works, but liftoff is still a couple of years away.

Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) already sells so-called 4K TV sets for about 10 times the price of a regular 1080 HD set. But a standard Blu-ray player can't paint the fancy field of pixels with appropriately detailed pictures, and finding content that takes advantage of the fine-grained detail is almost impossible.

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) might be your best bet, since the digital video streaming service supports 4K streams and even shoots its in-house content such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black in that format. But don't splurge on a 4K set and a next-generation video game console just yet -- your Internet service provider must install Netflix's special content servers first, and American ISPs generally haven't taken that step yet.

In the video below (shot in plain old 1080p HD resolution), Fool contributor Anders Bylund explains why the new format won't go mainstream quite yet. Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments box below.

The future of television begins now... with an all-out $2.2 trillion media war that pits the cable companies against the technology giants. Netflix is already defining its niche in the next era of digital entertainment while Sony and others are still finding their way through unfamiliar territory. The Motley Fool's shocking video presentation reveals the secret Steve Jobs took to his grave, and explains why the only real winners are these three lesser-known power players that film your favorite shows. Click here to watch today!


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