There are more and more Ultra High Definition (UHD), aka 4KTV, movies and shows for 4K smart TV owners and Netflix is definitely one of the key destinations. However, for those looking to watch Netflix in 4K on their TV or PC, it’s hard to know where to start.
That’s why we’ve put together this how-to guide, explaining everything from the essential basics you need to get started, to the little details that can prevent the process from working completely. And, generally, Netflix in 4K UHD is worth it.
There is a growing selection of 4K content on Netflix, but don’t be fooled into thinking that everything on the streaming platform is viewable in Ultra HD.
Go to our list of the best 4K Netflix content to see what’s available.
Plan and cost Netflix 4K
You will need a premium tier Netflix 4K subscription. To access all that juicy Ultra HD content, you have to pay more, especially $ 15.99 per month.
In terms of video quality, Netflix streams 4K at 2160p, which is good news. There is no lesser term when it comes to 4K or UHD, as there were with some HD video providers that only broadcast 720p at 1080i.
You need a 4K TV … obviously
The first thing you will need is a 4K TV. it’s pretty obvious. 4K TVs are typically 2160p. which means a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. 8K TVs with 7680 x 4320 are also starting to hit the market, but that’s really overkill… for now, at least.
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There is a long list of TVs that support Netflix 4K, but just because you have a 4K Ultra HD TV doesn’t mean it will work. This is because you also need an HDCP 2.2 compatible set (which is 4K copy protection) and, if you are using an external device, supports HDMI 2.0.
This is especially fragile with older sets (especially those from before 2014), so make sure yours supports these standards before going any further. For more information on HDMI, check out our HDMI explainer, which dispels some myths and unraveling the jargon.
We should also point out that each year Netflix selects a list of specific “recommended” models, which can be a useful guide if you are in the market for a new TV. You can see the list of specific models here (this landing page shows the current year, but you can check previous years to see if your 4K TV is recommended).
Check your broadband plan
Now, if you want to stream 4K content, you’re going to need a pretty dandy internet connection. Remember everyone said 4K was not going to go anywhere because our connections weren’t fast enough? Well, in the age of fiber and cable, that’s no problem. Netflix recommends a connection of at least 25 Mbps.
The average broadband speed in the United States is 61 Mbps, so most people should be good to go. but that could mean that a small upgrade is needed in UK households where the 16 Mbps average is much lower.
Oh, and it goes without saying: you don’t want to do this if you have a data limit in your broadband plan. If you have a cap, make sure you know what it is – and that you know it’s high Many ISPs have raised these caps, but in the age of 4K streaming, we’re able to hit them too. much faster.
Now, finally, you’re going to need a 4K streaming device. If you have a 4K TV, chances are it’s a smart TV that will have a Netflix app. If you have all of the above conditions, that should be enough.
We tested the Netflix app on our various 4K smart TVs and the 4K content was found and played perfectly. If you have a 4K smart TV, it might save you money. However, there is still little consistency between smart TV platforms.
Often times, however, an external device will give you the best experience. Netflix has a full list of their website, but some notable mentions include:
- Apple TV 4K
- Xbox one x
- PS4 Pro
- Nvidia Shield
- Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
- Roku Streaming Stick +
- Chromecast Ultra
- Chromecast with Google TV
What about HDR and Dolby Vision?
Netflix currently supports two different HDR streaming formats; Dolby Vision and HDR10. To participate in this highly dynamic action, you will need a TV that supports Dolby Vision or HDR10.
If you’re using an external box or streaming stick, you’ll want it to be connected to your device through an HDMI port that supports HDCP 2.2 or later.
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Technically, HDR is available on some smartphones and tablets that are not necessarily classified as having 4K displays. If you’re browsing Netflix on a new iOS or Android, look for the HDR or Dolby Vision icon.
You can watch 4K Netflix on your Windows PC, as long as it is running on Windows 10. Plus, you will have to stream through the Edge browser, so have no idea on Firefox or Chrome.
But things are also quite tricky when it comes to hardware. What are you waiting for? Your PC will need PlayReady 3.0, so make sure Windows 10 is fully up to date.
Your PC hardware will also need 10-bit HEVC encoding support. so you will need a seventh generation or later Intel Kaby Lake processor. Basically, if your machine is dated before 2017, you could be in questionable territory. An Nvidia 10-series graphics card can also handle it instead.
4K Netflix on Mac was a late arrival, but it’s finally here. You’ll need a Mac computer running at least macOS 11.0 Big Sur, the latest version of Safari, and it will also need to be a 2018 Mac or higher with an Apple T2 security chip.
See also: How to watch 4K on Xbox
Involving HDR means digging into your graphics driver and / or your GPU’s hardware configuration. It really is a bit ridiculous.
For Mac and PC, you’ll need a 4K display that supports HCDP 2.2 and runs at 60Hz, so make sure your display is compliant.
Once that’s sorted and you have the right Netflix subscription level, you’re good to go.
It might sound silly, but with Ultra HD it’s actually a common question. You might want to check if you are actually streaming in 4K.
Netflix will automatically give you access to 4K streams if you meet the above criteria, for example 4K TV, full subscription, support app, or streaming device. We found the Apple TV 4K to be a great experience. You can find out if the content is available by going to a show (preferably a Netflix original) and looking under the title. It should say “Ultra HD 4K” or “Dolby Vision” and not “HD”.
Make sure your 4K device is plugged into an HDCP 2.2 compatible HDMI port and not the nonsensical ports that some TV manufacturers add on the sides. This will become more difficult as we add more 4K devices to our living rooms (game console, cable box, Apple TV, etc.).
If you’re still paranoid that you aren’t getting the resolution you’re paying for, you can use your TV’s OSD to check the incoming resolution, often by pressing the “i” button. In fact, it differs wildly between brands of TVs and won’t be useful on all models, so you’ll have to find out for yourself.
The best Netflix 4K and HDR movies and shows
There are over 800 UHD things to choose from on Netflix, if you add up all the regions – and around 550 if you live in the United States. To make your life easier, we have selected the 20 best shows, documentaries and films for you.
Top 20 Netflix 4K TV Shows
- Chef’s table
- The last dance
- First man
- Challenger: the last flight
- Da 5 bloods
- Planet Earth II
- Ricky Gervais: Humanity
- The Chicago 7 trial
- Queen’s Gambit
- Black mirror
- The tiger king
- Modified carbon
- Space force
- The crown
- Money heist
- You better call Saul
- Sarah Silverman: a spot of dust
- Strange things
- My Next Guest Doesn’t Need To Be Introduced With David Letterman
- Media Essay