New Neon Plans But Still No 4K

Sky has announced a new range of subscription plans for Neon to take effect from next month but none include a 4K option – and there won’t be one for the foreseeable future.

Given Sky’s already in the broadband business and has started in-house testing of its new 4K-capable box, you might have thought Neon would be next to go 4K.

But according to a Sky spokesperson, “The business case for 4K content and 5.1 Dolby audio is a complex one.

“It affects the entire production and content delivery pipeline, with significant infrastructure investment required to support it.

“However, we recognise that picture and sound quality form a big part of the viewing experience, and although we can’t currently support 4K content and 5.1 Dolby audio, it’s something we’re exploring.

“We’re always looking at how we can improve the user experience on Neon.”

Sky’s position on streaming is the same as TVNZ’s, which told me: “TVNZ+ video content is a mixture of SD and HD (720p, 1080p) depending on the content rights in place.

“All video encoding uses machine learning to achieve optimum quality for each episode when creating the video renditions for playback. 2.0 stereo audio is currently used for TVNZ+ content.”

Both operators are cranking up their streaming slates ahead of Warner Bros. Discovery relaunching ThreeNow, hopefully with much better resolution (and audio) than the 3Mbs it currently delivers.

The NZ streaming services’ PQ specs stand in stark contrast to the likes of Disney+, Netflix, Apple TV+ and Prime Video, all of which offer 4K and Dolby Atmos streams – and, apart from Netflix, for plans more affordable than those announced this week for Neon (which, ironically, includes an SD option for the first time):

From 15 August, the price of Neon’s monthly Standard Plan is increasing to $17.99 per month, and our Annual Plan is increasing to $179.99 per year. Why? So that we can continue to bring you premium and exclusive shows like House of the Dragon, The Handmaid’s Tale and Yellowstone, and the latest blockbuster movies. From 15 August, we’re also introducing a monthly Basic Plan for $12.99 per month, a saving of $5 per month compared to our monthly Standard Plan.

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3 Responses to “New Neon Plans But Still No 4K”

  1. Are they going to stream the audio in 5.1 sound or stick with stereo?

  2. With these price increases and no increase in quality, I will be pirating content and streaming via a Plex server.

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