Until recently, the world of 4K has had a lot of barriers to entry. 4K TVs and 4K Blu-ray players were expensive, streamable 4K content was lacking, and 4K streaming services require some pretty far-above-average Internet speeds.
But all of that is changing. Prices are dropping, Netflix is adding 150 more hours of 4K Ultra HD content by year’s end, and fibre-based networks offer bandwidth speeds far above the 25Mbps requirement for 4K streaming.
In short, if you’ve been holding off on making the jump to 4K, now might be the time to reconsider. And the soon-to-be-released Xbox One S console might be the device to start with.
Why? For starters, the Xbox One S is one of the few devices that support 4K streaming over services such as Netflix. Many people assume that streaming 4K content only requires a 4K TV and a stable Internet connection. But streamable 4K content is compressed through a new standard called HEVC coding. As such, streamed 4K content requires a device with an HEVC codec to play at 4K resolution.
Not only does the Xbox One S come equipped with the ability to play 4K content from Netflix, it also plays 4K Blu-ray discs. This sets it apart from other 4K-ready devices (such as Roku 4) and Smart TVs, and saves you from shelling out more money for a separate 4K Blu-ray player. As an added bonus, the Xbox One S also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) content, which does for on-screen contrast and colour what 4K resolution does for detail and clarity.
Of course, the Xbox One S is a fully powered gaming console at heart, capable of playing the full existing library of Xbox One games and select Xbox 360 games.
Add it all up and in a single device you’ll unbox the ability to play 4K Blu-ray discs, HDR-enabled Blu-rays, stream 4K content, stream HDR content, and play current generation video games.