How to Make Netflix HD or Ultra HD: The Easiest Way to Change Netflix’s Picture Settings
When it comes to streaming media, Netflix is a popular source for on-demand entertainment. It’s hard to find an app better than Netflix. With one of the largest libraries of movies and TV shows globally, Netflix is the go-to place for originals and legacy content alike.
Unfortunately, Netflix’s one weakness is its reliance on high bandwidth internet connections to provide a crystal-clear viewing experience. If your favorite Netflix Originals are coming in at lower resolutions than you’d expect, changing your picture settings is super easy.
Changing Netflix Picture Settings: Making Netflix HD or Ultra HD
Before we go into changing your resolution settings, it’s worth making sure you have a subscription that allows for HD or UHD content. Netflix technically starts at $8.99 per month, but to gain access to sharper content, you’ll have to make the jump to the $12.99 or $15.99 per month plans. Those allow for HD and UHD, respectively, as well as upgrading how many devices can stream Netflix at once.
Changing Netflix Picture Settings on Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox
When watching Netflix’s content via a web browser, it’s not initially obvious how you can alter your playback settings, so don’t worry if you can’t find them right away. You’ll also need to make changes for your smart TVs and streaming devices by logging into
- Log in and select your profile (if you have multiple profiles on one account.)
- Click on the down arrow by your profile name and select ‘Account.’
- Navigate to “PROFILE & PARENTAL CONTROLS” and click the dropdown to the right of your profile.
- In the “Playback settings” section, click ‘Change.’
- In the “Data usage per screen” window, click ‘High’ for HD and UHD quality, and then click on ‘Save’ to make it the default.
Changing Netflix Picture Settings on Android and iOS
Sometimes, streaming content on the go can consume large chunks of your data plan and run down your phone battery. Downgrading visual quality helps save on both elements. Thankfully, your picture settings in Netflix’s mobile app on Android and iOS is super easy to access.
- Log into Netflix and select your profile (if you have multiple profiles.)
- Click on ‘More’ at the bottom of your Android or iOS screen.
- Tap on ‘App Settings.’
- For high-quality downloads, select ‘Download Video Quality’ in the “Downloads” section.
- Tap on ‘High’ in the “Download Video Quality” options.
- For streaming, scroll up the current “App Settings” menu and select ‘Cellular Data Usage.’
- In the “Cellular Data Usage” settings, turn ‘Automatic’ off.
- Select ‘Maximum Data’ for the best video quality.
Requirements For Streaming UHD Content
Streaming content in HD Ultra requires more than just a higher subscription level and changing some settings. You will need the proper equipment to support the crisper content. Netflix recommends that you have the following:
- An internet speed of at least 25mbps—You may want to use a physical Ethernet cable to boost your speeds
- A 60Hz monitor if you’re streaming on your computer
- A television that is compatible with HD Ultra content—models can be found by visiting the Netflix Help Center and typing in the TV Manufacturer
Once you have fulfilled all the requirements, you’re ready to go! Start enjoying HD Ultra content.
Finding the Content
Now that you’re all set to stream UHD content, you’ll need to get that content streaming. Keep in mind, not all content on Netflix is available in UHD. Whether it’s an older show or it hasn’t been released in a higher-definition format, you may have to settle for Standard Definition on some shows and movies.
You can begin watching higher-quality content by performing a search for it or checking a series. Here’s how:
To perform a search simply use Netflix’s Search and type ‘UHD.’ A list of shows, series, and movies will appear. Scroll through, choose one, and begin watching.
As you’ll notice, the majority of titles available are newer so you may not be able to watch Meredith from the Office in full UHD.
Next, you can tell if a title is available in higher-quality by clicking the ‘More Info’ option.
If you click on a show, it will show ‘4K Ultra HD’ in the upper right-hand corner next to the title. What’s better is Netflix will automatically play content in the higher-resolution if it’s available to you.
If no shows appear to have this function it’s likely because you aren’t eligible for UHD content. Check that you meet all of the criteria above or reach out to Netflix Support if you still can’t get UHD content. If you think your internet speeds are slow you can use the Speed Test website or app if you have a mobile device.
Unfortunately, there’s no good way to verify that you are in fact streaming UHD content. Of course, you should be able to tell by the visual quality, but Netflix and most TV manufacturers don’t provide an option to test for screen quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some more answers to the most frequently asked questions about Netflix HD and UHD streaming.
Is it worth upgrading to Ultra HD?
The answer to this question heavily depends on you. If you enjoy better clarity and image quality, or you’re just an avid streamer, then yes, it probably is worth the upgrade. For those who don’t watch Netflix often or haven’t upgraded their TV in a while, it’s best to stick with a lower-tier package.
Adding to the value is the extra streams you get when you have the higher tier package of Netflix. If you have several people using the same account, it’s necessary to upgrade so that everyone can stream without interruption.
Why can’t I select the higher quality on Netflix?
The option to stream higher-quality content may not work for you or may not appear at all. After upgrading your package, the first thing you need to do is visit the settings for each profile on your account and tap on ‘Settings.’ Locate the ‘Playback Settings’ and turn on the highest quality option. While this action will use more data if you’re streaming from a wifi source, it shouldn’t affect anything.
If you’ve toggled the option on and you’re still not receiving any HD quality content, close Netflix and open it back up again. This step gives the app time to register the new settings. If your HD content still isn’t working and you’ve confirmed you’re running at least 25mbps with an HD capable device, contact Netflix Support for more assistance.
Is Netflix UHD the same as 4K?
While UHD and 4K are technically different (true 4K has a slightly higher pixel ratio than UHD,) most consumers won’t notice a difference in quality. It may surprise you, but many TVs get advertised as 4K when they are actually Ultra High-Definition.
I have a 4k TV, but it isn’t compatible. Why not?
So, here’s the kicker about 4K and UHD TVs; those manufactured before 2014 (and even some after 2014) did not include the proper HEVC decoder. Essentially this makes it possible for your TV to show Netflix’s UHD content as UHD content.