We chose the main thing from The Hollywood Reporter’s column on how Netflix affects the technology market. The corporation forces manufacturers of cameras and software to introduce innovations as quickly as possible – although some doubt that the service is really striving for quality.
One of the most used cameras in Hollywood at the moment is the ARRI Alexa. However, in 2018, Netflix forbade the creators of the original content to use it (except for the widescreen Alexa 65), since the maximum resolution that it supports is 3.2K. The company’s standard is 4K.
Manufacturers tried to challenge this decision, citing the fact that there is practically no difference between 3.2K and 4K sensors – while Alexa is full of advantages over other cameras. But Netflix insisted.
These are great cameras, and we have a lot of content shot on them. However, they do not have real 4K sensors, and we cannot allow them to be used. For those who pay for premium UHD 4K service, we provide only the content that was shot in real UHD 4K resolution.
from the Netflix statement
The result angered many filmmakers. The situation escalated even more when, in November, at a camera festival in Poland, a Netflix spokesman reaffirmed the company’s decision, citing “defending the creative idea.” Then they shouted in the crowd: “It’s not about protecting quality, it’s about marketing.”
As a result, in winter ARRI introduced a new camera with a 4.5K sensor – and many associate its production with the streaming service solution. Netflix emerged victorious from the conflict.
This is not the only example of Netflix’s influence on technology manufacturers. On the latest Sony or Panasonic TVs, you can find “Mode for Netflix”. Sometimes stickers with the inscription “Netflix Recommended TV” even get on their cases.
According to Larry Chernoff, the head of MTI Film post-processing technology manufacturer, Netflix has long planned to get its hands on this market.
Netflix is now one of a kind. The company has hired top engineers and top post-production technology firms from Hollywood and beyond. I don’t know yet another company that would achieve the same and show the same respect for the community … Netflix had an impact on everything we do.
CEO MTI Film
Netflix wanted all original movies and TV shows to support not only 4K, but also HDR with Dolby Atmos technology. Now in the platform’s catalog you can find more than 1000 hours of such content. It is unlikely that the transition to advanced quality throughout the industry would have happened without the efforts of the company.
Also in September, Netflix launched the Netflix Post Technology Alliance – together with MTI, Adobe, Sony and other corporations. This is a program for the development of shooting technologies – from cameras to software. All tools that are eligible and validated can use the Netflix Post Technology Alliance logo. Recently, it can be increasingly seen in the industry.
And these are only those initiatives that are publicly known – for sure, the company is preparing what else.
One thing is certain: the company influences not only the production of content, but also what technologies it creates.
author of The Hollywood Reporter