Watch Netflix in 4K on your PC: The step-by-step guide
Do you want to use your PC to watch TV series and movies in 4K resolution on Netflix? Here’s what you need to know.
Netflix , perhaps not everyone is aware of it, has made available to its users a fair selection of content with 4K resolution, including shows like Stranger Things, Glow, Marco Polo, Orange is the New Black, as well as numerous films. These and other small masterpieces can be appreciated in all their beauty even on your PC, provided it has the right requirements. Here’s everything you need to watch movies and TV series on Netflix in 4K from your computer.
In addition to Netflix there are many other web services for streaming movies and TV series, find out which ones!
Does my PC support 4K content on Netflix?
Clearly, streaming and rendering 4K content is much more complex than traditional 720p or even 1080p video that you can already watch on Netflix. This quick checklist shows everything you need:
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- Broadband with a download speed of over 25 Mb / s
- Monitor or 4K TV (3840 × 2160 pixels)
- Windows 10
- Fast processor
- Netflix subscription that includes 4K
The first thing to do is evaluate if your Internet connection is fast enough to handle the large amount of data required to provide a 4K video without problems. Netflix suggests a minimum speed of 25 Mb / s, but recommends a higher value.
If you’re not sure how fast your broadband is currently, try visiting SpeedTest.Net and use its eponymous diagnostic program. All this will take only a minute or so and will give you an accurate evaluation of the speed.
If the value of the Download item is more than 25 Mb / s, then you are lucky, otherwise you will have to satisfy your hunger with HD content.
Needless to say, you will need a 4K monitor to view Ultra HD programs. To check it, go to All Settings > System on your PC running Windows 10.
At the top of the column on the left you will see the Display section. Select it, then in the main panel look for the Resolution section.
If the resolution is less than 3840 x 2160, you will not be able to watch 4K content. Or rather, technically, your monitor will resize the video to fit it. The problem is that it does not make much sense because you will not see the details anymore, because the screen cannot simply show them. Of course you can buy a monitor that supports 4K resolution.
Please note that the monitor also needs an HDCP 2.2 connection to support 4K playback. In the manual provided with the display, or with a quick search on Google, you will find all the necessary information.
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Another condition for watching 4K movies on Netflix is that your PC must have an Intel 7th generation or higher CPU. These are better known as Kaby Lake processors and were launched only in 2016, so your PC will have to be relatively new. However, some old processors will be able to play 4K videos if they are powerful enough. There are also many recent AMD processors that can also handle 4K playback.
An interesting test is to go to YouTube and find a 4K video to watch. Make sure the video is set to display in 4K by clicking the gear icon in the lower right corner of the video player and selecting 4K. If everything works smoothly, it should also be fine with Netflix.
To check which CPU you have in your PC go to All Settings > System > About and you will see it listed.
You may not see processor generation, but you can go back to the exact version from the first digit of the model number. In my case, I use an Intel Core i5-3450, just go to the manufacturer’s website to get all the information you need.
Software to watch 4K content on Netflix
We recommend that you use the latest version of Windows 10 (previous versions of Windows are not compatible), so be sure to install any updates you may have pending. You can find them by going to All Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update and clicking the Check for Updates button.
In this case I have just discovered that I have a pending update … this is why it is always advisable to check every amount of time!
You will also need to use Microsoft Edge as a browser or download the Netflix app from the Windows Store.
Finally, you will also need to have purchased the Netflix Premium package in order to receive 4K content. At the moment it costs $13.99 a month.
Change the Netflix settings
If you meet all the requirements listed above, all you have to do is change the settings on your Netflix account to allow watching TV series and movies in 4K.
Open the Netflix app or connect with the Microsoft Edge browser on Netflix.com. Log in and then click on the Account icon in the upper right corner. From the drop-down menu select the Account item.
On the Account page, scroll down to the My Profile section and click Play Settings.
As in the image above you will see a list of options ranging from Auto to Alto. Choose the latter, click Save and you’ll be ready to go.
That’s all. Now you should be able to enjoy all the great content available on Netflix in 4K!
Remember that this setting will consume much more data than HD shows (typically one hour of HD content uses 3 GB, while 4K is more than double that 7 GB), so if you have a data limit on your Internet connection, or if you use Netflix on a mobile device with 3G / 4G, I suggest you set it to Auto or Low, depending on the available jig.