Originally Posted by Sujay
I didn't even realize Netflix started serving HEVC content. is this a recent thing? How are you confirming this via the logs?
Scroll back (quite) a few pages on this thread and you'll find links to articles about Netflix using h265 (HEVC) as well as VP9 (mainly for mobile). I have a 4K Roku TV and Roku's player doesn't support h264 for 4K. You'll find that in their developer docs. Whether Netflix is using a custom player or just an interface to pass off to the Roku API is another question.
But as for the Shield TV, I develop apps for Android and upgaded an open source logging program to handle the LeanBack Interface so I could grab logs when an app runs on the Shield. And any developer can also use the Android monitor on a PC to get realtime logs. Logs showed Netflix streaming HEVC on titles including 1080p. If it saves them bandwidth it's worth it not to mention it saves the consumer too.
Netflix has a tech blog where they discuss encoding issues among other things:
There are many advantages to these new codecs other than reducing file size. They can improve picture quality too even without HDR. Sure companies will probably keep some h264 Basic Profile encodes for old devices that can't handle even Main Profile and definitely not High Profile. But most (including YouTube) are abandoning h264 for 4K.