Ultra HD on its way to Amazon Instant Video
The choice of 30 Mbps as a minimum speed for 2020 may be challenged by the rise of Ultra HD streaming, with the announcement that it is coming to Amazon Instant Video increasing the availability of video at this quality, though it appears to be only for the US currently. Unlike Netflix where 4K and HD content requires a more expensive subscription it appears that Amazon are rolling it out to all Prime members.
Ultra HD content generally requires a minimum of 20 Mbps, but a few Mbps extra are always useful particularly for action based content where variable rate codecs may need to burst higher to cope with complex scenes unless the quality is to be compromised.
While this raises the question over how will the UK cope, we believe that widespread adoption of 4K is still some way off and in fact many who have already purchased Ultra HD televisions are left with sets that cannot play this content since the crucial H.265 codec is missing. A number of 2014 models are expected to support the codec, but even then price may be a big issue for example the Sony FMPX-10 Ultra HD media player that is only compatible with Sony 4K televisions seems to retail for around £800.