Netflix continues to aggressively pursue cutting-edge technologies in an effort to stay ahead of competitors. In shooting its original series, House of Cards, in the highest resolution available (despite increased costs), Netflix is not only offering content found nowhere else in the market, it’s offering it in formats their competitors cannot match: most cable and satellite operators cannot handle the increased bandwidth required to carry 4K programming.

For example, satellite provider DirecTV, whose upper management believes that 4K is a “killer app,” is planning a slew of higher resolution content, but doesn’t expect it to be online until around 2020. This gives Netflix a huge head start in the space, and the company is not wasting its advantage: in addition to its 4K strategy, it is also planning to offer content in HDR (High Dynamic Range), a two-pronged approach designed to force its partners to join “Netflix Open Connect,” an initiative that attempts to deliver the huge flow of Netflix content without clogging an ISP’s pipes.

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