How To Stream Netflix In 4K Resolution

Viewing Netflix 4K content on your 4K isn't as simple as plug and play. Not all 4K TVs will work with Netflix 4K. Read on to learn what you need to do it right.

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• Technology: DIY • Technology: How-To
• Technology: Video

Matt Anderson's Take
Televisions that can display 4K resolution images (known as Ultra HD) seem to be everywhere these days. Of course, what's the point of a 4K TV if you don't have 4K content to view? Sure, the TV or your Blu-ray DVD player may upscale to 4K and that's great and all, but it's not the same as true 4K.

So how do you get your 4K fix the easy way? Try streaming some 4K content via Netflix of course! Okay, it's not just as easy as plug-in and play so let's go over the requirements first.

What You Need To Watch 4K Content From Netflix


A Compatible 4K TV
Not every 4K TV is compatible with Netflix 4K streaming. If you bought one of the first 4K sets that came out you may have issues, but any of the newer 4K sets are likely okay. If you didn't buy a TV yet be sure to check the specs before buying.

Most of the recent televisions from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Vizio, or Toshiba should be Netflix 4K ready. Check the official Netflix Help page here for more.

Internet Connection With At Least 25Mbps
As you can imagine, 4K content uses up a lot of bandwidth. What's bandwidth? Think of your Internet connection like a hose. A small hose can deliver a small amount of water while a larger hose can deliver large amounts of water. You need a hose that can deliver a lot of water very fast. Hey, the Internet really is like a serious of tubes!

While 1080p HD content only needs 5Mbps connection, 4K content requires a 25Mbps download speed. Most cable Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will offer this, but you may need to pay more. You'll also want to make sure your ISP doesn't limit your overall data usage. Some ISPs may limit how much data you can use and considering 4K content uses around 7GB of data per hour it can go fast. To put that in perspective, many smart phone data plans give 1Gb to 4Gb per month.

Upgrade Your Netflix Plan
Most people have a basic Netflix plan that lets you watch Netflix on 2 TVs at the same time in HD 1080p resolution. For 4K, you'll need to upgrade to the 4 screen plan which includes HD and Ultra HD 4K content. This plan is around $12 USD per month.

After you upgrade, go to your Netflix account page, click on Playback Settings, then make sure you have Data Usage set to High.

That's It!
Follow those three steps and you'll be on your way to enjoying the wonderful world of Ultra HD 4K content on that sweet new 4K TV you bought.

Of course, the amount of content Netflix offers in 4K is limited. With that in mind, I wouldn't suggesting upgrading that old 1080p HD set you have just yet. If you're in the market for a new TV then buying 4K might make sense, but upgrading an old HD set doesn't make sense for most right now. 4K TVs will continue to drop in price so wait it out another year if you can.
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