The BBC is giving Blue Planet II the full-fat 4K and HDR treatment, ready to stream through iPlayer on December 10.
The entire series of the acclaimed nature documentary will be up for binge watching as a trial to test the demand for high-resolution content.
“Making the full series available in Ultra HD and HDR on BBC iPlayer is the next step in reinventing the BBC for a new generation, and there’s not a better place to start than with the stunning Blue Planet II,” said Matthew Postgate, the BBC’s chief technology officer.
The Beep hasn’t revealed the broadband connection speed you’ll need to have to stream the 4K series. But we’d expect that piping all the extra pixels and additional high dynamic range (HDR) data to TVs and other 4K capable devices will take a pretty beefy and stable broadband connection; you’ll very likely need a fibre service to do the streaming.
For iPlayer full HD content the BBC recommends a 2.8Mbps connection, so the jump to 4K will likely require an sizeable jump in broadband speed. Netflix for example requires a 25Mbps connection, which is not something many homes stuck on ADSL broadband will be able to hit.
And it’s worth noting HDR puts an extra strain on broadband connections, so again a fibre broadband is likely to be the best bet to get the 4K HDR Blue Planet II experience.
However, this is a bit of a test for the BBC, so over time it could figure out ways to make such streaming less broadband taxing.
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