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Netflix Will Not Be Streaming 1080p This Year

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The prices of HDTVs have fallen significantly over the past few years. So much so that mainstream shoppers have been purchasing HDTVs in record numbers. Due to the rapid adoption of High Definition Television's and the death of analog HD broadcasting -- media companies like Netflix are pumping out (digital) HD content. Today, 1080p is the most sought after resolution for broadcasting as it is considered "full high definition."

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. households now have an HDTV, and another 12 percent are looking to purchase one in the next two years. If the numbers are accurate and the forecast bears out, that means that in 2013 about three out of four American households will have upgraded to HDTV

-Geoff Duncan, Digital Trends

Netflix intimately understands the financial benefits of distributing HD content. For the 2010 development road map -- Netflix explained that the company would be pushing out 1080p for its Watch Instantly streaming service. This was very exciting news -- especially for Xbox owners who have the benefit of Netflix and the Zune Market Place. Microsoft launched 1080p streaming content in March of 2009.

Unfortunately, the good news was short lived and Netflix recanted its initial remarks about 1080p for the Watch Instantly service.

Netflix now claims that it incorrectly acknowledged 1080p streaming in the company's 2010 development road map.

-Josh Lowensohn, CNET News

It's unclear why Netflix is withdrawing the statement but perhaps it has something to do their requirements for streaming video. These are not official numbers but 720p streaming will require 5Mbps (or higher) and 1080p streaming will require 10Mbps (or higher). At present, the Netflix Watch Instantly service is 720p.

With exception of Netflix recanting the roll out of 1080p -- the company is still on track to push out 5.1 channel surround sound and closed captioning, this year.

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