philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


How Netflix Is Using Its Muscle to Push Filmmaking Technology Boundaries

arri_camera_embedIf you have used the "Netflix calibrated mode" on your Sony or Panasonic TV or seen the "Netflix Recommended TV" logo in a consumer electronics display, you've had a glimpse of how the streaming giant has exercised its clout to become the most influential entertainment company in the technology field, pushing boundaries (and occasionally ruffling feathers). Netflix's size has allowed it to touch and influence everything from hardware and software development to industry display standards.

"Netflix has hired some of the top industry engineers out of the top postproduction houses in Hollywood and beyond. I don't know any other company that has reached out more and demonstrated more respect for the post community than Netflix … It has had a profound influence on everything we do."

Case in point: Netflix wanted its original content to be delivered in 4K resolution with the Dolby Vision brand of high dynamic range (Netflix now offers about 1,000 hours of HDR across its catalog) and Dolby Atmos brand of immersive sound. Broadcasters are still entrenched in 2K, and many acknowledge that, if not for Netflix, adoption of the advanced formats might have stagnated.

To make sure its content is being produced how it wants, the streamer in September launched a Netflix Post Technology Alliance with MTI, Adobe, Sony and others.

Netflix also is involved in industry standardization and development efforts. For instance, it recently joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Academy Software Foundation, a forum for open source software developers.

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