Where to stream 4k UHD movies and TV online

Wondering where to stream 4k UHD video for that new TV or monitor? Prices on these higher resolution TV's are coming down and more models are being announced, but native 4k content is still somewhat hard to come by. There are currently no US TV channels broadcasting in 4k or 4k blu ray discs (yet), and the PS4 and Xbox One aren't capable of 4k gaming. However, there are a few options to stream 4k UHD video and I'll go over them below.

4k vs Ultra HD / UHD

A quick note on 4k vs Ultra HD... Technically these terms aren't interchangeable, but in common usage both refer to widescreen images or screens with at least 2,160 vertical pixels, which is double 'regular' HD's 1,080 pixels. Several companies are teaming up to standardize on using the Ultra HD and UHD names, while '4k UHD' is used by some companies to avoid confusion. I use them interchangeably here.

Equipment needed to stream 4k UHD video

Before you can stream 4k video you'll need the proper equipment: a 4k Ultra HD TV compatible with the service you'll be streaming from and a fast internet connection (recommendations range from 10Mbps to 25Mbps).

Where to stream 4k UHD movies and TV shows

Netflix has a small selection of 4k content. The $12/mo plan is required to access 4k video, which also supports 4 simultaneous streams (the $9 plan only supports 2) and they recommend a 25Mbps internet connection. A compatible TV is also required, and Netflix supports a variety of models from popular manufacturers. See the supported models and get more details here. Highlights of current titles available are their original series Marco Polo and House of Cards S2, Breaking Bad, a few movies, and some nature videos.

Amazon also has a small library of 4k content available to Prime members and for rental or purchase. Amazon recommends a 15Mbps connection. A compatible TV from Sony, Samsung, or LG is required to access 4k content. See the compatible TVs and get more info here. Highlights include some original series such as TransparentAlpha House S2, and future Amazon pilots. They also have some movies from Sony Pictures including After Earth, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Elysium, Moneyball, The Monuments Men, The Amazing Spider Man 1& 2, Think Like a Man Too, This is the End, and more.

M-Go is another online store that can stream 4k UHD content for rental or purchase. The current selection is very limited, with about 10 recent and older movies. It is currently only compatible with select Samsung TV's, and a 10Mbps internet connection is recommended. Browse the selection and get more info here.

When looking for where to stream 4k UHD movies and TV online M-Go's selection is unfortunately typical

YouTube is a great place to stream 4k UHD videos, with a selection ranging from movie trailers to nature videos and home movies. It is available on computers and select TV's from Samsung, LG, and Panasonic, but I can't seem to find a model list anywhere online. Try searching for 4k movie trailers or 4k videos to see what's available (be sure to click the little gear icon and set the resolution to 4k).

Some of the other popular streaming services such as iTunes, Hulu, and Vudu don't offer any 4k UHD titles yet.

Other options to watch and download 4k UHD video

Due to the problems of distributing 4k movies, Sony created an Ultra HD Media Player for their TV's that comes pre-loaded with 50 4k UHD titles. The set top box has a 1TB hard drive, access to the Sony 4k UHD online store and Netflix 4k UHD streaming, and can store 4k videos shot with a Sony digital camera. It's not cheap though, with a retail price of $700. However, if you want to download 4k UHD movies this is one of the few options currently available.

Finally, don't forget you may have a camera capable of shooting 4k video. The new GoPros, some Android phones, and several video cameras can shoot 4k video that may look gorgeous on that new TV set.