How To Play 4K Netflix on a PC

Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services with over 200 million subscribers. It offers a wide range of movies and TV shows, and many of them are available in 4K. If you want to watch Netflix in 4K on your TV, all you need is a 4K TV and a 4K-capable streaming box. However, those who want to stream Netflix in 4K on their computers will need to comply with specific requirements.

How To Play 4K Netflix on a PC

If you’re interested in playing 4K Netflix on your PC, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explain what you’ll need to enjoy Ultra HD on Netflix.

Play 4K Netflix on PC

Here’s what you need to stream Netflix in 4K:

Hardware Requirements

There are several hardware requirements for playing Netflix TV shows and movies in 4K:

Display

The first thing you’ll need is a 4K display, i.e., a display with a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution. If you’re not sure whether your display is 4K, here’s how to check it:

  1. Open the Start menu and press the gear icon to access “Settings.”
  2. Press “System.”
  3. Go to “Display.”
  4. Look at the “ Display Resolution” box and ensure “3840 x 2160” is marked.

If you don’t have this option, it means your display can’t stream Netflix in HD.

Besides having the appropriate resolution, your display needs a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The refresh rate is how many times per second a display can draw a new image.

Follow the steps below to check your display’s refresh rate:

  1. Launch the Start menu and select the gear icon to open “Settings.”
  2. Select “System.”
  3. Choose “Display.”
  4. Scroll down and press “Advanced display settings.”
  5. Under “Display information,” check the refresh rate.

If you want to stream 4K Netflix, your display will also need to support HDCP 2.2. HDCP stands for High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection and is designed to create a secure connection and protect content from being pirated. You can check whether your display is HDCP compliant by going through the manual that came with it or looking up its specifications on the manufacturer’s website.

Processor

Per Netflix, you need an Intel 7th generation (Kaby Lake) or newer or AMD Ryzen CPU if you want to stream content in 4K. However, many users reported playing Netflix in 4K with older processors.

Follow these instructions to discover whether your PC’s CPU matches these requirements:

  1. Open the Start menu and press the gear icon to launch “Settings.”
  2. Select “System.”
  3. Go to “About.”
  4. Check the information under “Processor.” You can determine the generation by looking at the number after the dash. For example, “i5-7200U” is 7th generation.

Bandwith

Netflix has certain requirements for minimum download bandwidth required for streaming content in 4K. You’ll need an internet connection of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps). The higher the speed, the better the streaming. If your internet connection is slower, you won’t be able to load the content and enjoy 4K.

You can check your internet speed using Speedtest.net or a different internet speed testing service.

Software Requirements

Even if you have the right display, processor, and bandwidth, you won’t be able to stream in 4K unless you comply with different software requirements.

Since Netflix doesn’t support Windows 7 or 8, you’ll need Windows 10 to stream in 4K. Ensure you’ve updated the system before trying to play content in 4K.

Moreover, Netflix can’t stream in 4K if you’re using a browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. One of the ways to enjoy the Ultra HD option is going to Netflix’s website in the Microsoft Edge browser. The second option is downloading the Netflix app from the Microsoft store. Netflix 4K is also available on Safari for macOS 11.0 or later computers.

You may also need to install the HEVC Video Extension from the Microsoft Store. This extension was previously included in Windows 10 by default, but it seems this isn’t the case anymore. It costs $0.99 and enables you to stream Netflix in 4K.

Netflix Plan

If you meet all hardware and software requirements, you’ll need to ensure you have the right Netflix plan.

Netflix offers three plans: Basic, Standard, and Premium. Only the latter allows streaming in 4K. Netflix recently changed the pricing for all plans, and the Premium plan currently costs $19.99 per month. Besides enabling you to enjoy content in 4K, the Premium plan allows streaming simultaneously on up to four devices.

Netflix Settings

Even those paying for the Premium plan may not be able to stream Netflix in 4K. This is usually because the playback settings aren’t configured properly.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Netflix on your computer and go to the account page.
  2. Press “Playback Settings.”
  3. Mark the checkbox next to “Auto” or “High.”

“Low” and “Medium” options enable you to use less bandwidth when streaming, but they don’t support 4K.

Netflix Content

It’s important to remember not all content on Netflix is available in 4K. If you want to check the content, search for “4K” or “UltraHD.” You can also check the TV show’s or movie’s info for the Ultra HD 4K logo.

UltraHD 4K Logo

All Netflix TV shows and movies available in 4K have the UltraHD 4K logo. Many users reported not seeing this logo on their computers. Here’s what to do to fix this:

Update Windows

The first action you can take is updating your system:

  1. Open the Start menu and launch “Settings.”
  2. Go to “Update & Security.”
  3. Press “Check for updates” and install them.
  4. Restart your computer and launch Netflix.

Update Video Drivers

Your computer’s video drivers may be outdated, and this could be the reason why you can’t see the 4K logo. Here’s how to update them:

  1. Launch the Start menu, search for “Device Manager,” and open it.
  2. Find the appropriate drivers, right-click on them, and select “Update driver.”

Install HEVC Video Extension

The HEVC Video Extension is necessary for streaming Netflix in 4K, and not all computers come with it built-in. In such cases, you’ll need to purchase it from the Microsoft Store.

FAQs

Can I watch 4K Netflix on my phone?

Yes, Netflix subscribers can stream content on Netflix in 4K on their phones. If you want to use your phone to watch 4K Netflix, you’ll need to ensure you’re subscribed to the Premium plan. Plus, the playback quality should be set on “High” or “Auto.” Finally, don’t forget that not all content on Netflix is available in 4K. If you’re interested in such content, search for “4K” or “UltraHD” in the app.

Keep in mind not all mobile devices are compatible with Netflix 4K streaming. If you have an older device, you may not be able to play content in 4K even if you’re subscribed to the Premium plan.

Does Netflix stream in 8K?

8K refers to horizontal resolutions of around 8,000 pixels, and many new TV models have it. Unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t offer any content in 8K yet.

Enjoy the Quality

With 4K, you get clearer and more realistic images and significantly enhance your viewing experience. Right now, 4K resolution is top-tier viewing quality, and it’s no surprise Netflix aims at releasing more such content. Computer users can enjoy streaming Netflix content in 4K, but only under certain conditions.

We hope this article explained everything you need to know about playing 4K Netflix and that you’re now enjoying superb quality.

Have you tried playing 4K Netflix on other devices? Are you able to see the difference? Tell us in the comments section below.

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