While 4K-capable devices aren’t yet in widespread use across the United States, even if they were, most homes today wouldn’t have the broadband capacity to stream at that rate. A recent study shows that only 21% of households have a fast-enough connection to stream 4K, which requires bandwidth of at least 15 Mbps. Add in the usage caps most providers saddle their customers with, and the prospect of streaming 4K under current conditions becomes even less appealing.
Things may change by next year, however. DOCSIS 3.1 is expected sometime in 2016, and with it, an expected bump in ISP speeds. By that time, perhaps more companies will have joined Amazon in releasing a set-top box that can stream in 4K, and more ultra-high definition content could be available. Once broadband rises to the occasion, however, the next big challenge will be getting Wi-Fi speeds up to snuff throughout the home.