Looking to stream Netflix in crisp and clear 4K quality? There’s plenty of Ultra HD content to enjoy right now, including Blue Planet II, Roma, Stranger Things, Black Mirror and more. However, you must have the right device, account and internet if you want to get started!
To clarify, 4K and Ultra HD are essentially the same thing. That’s currently the highest resolution your monitor can have, with four times as many pixels as HD (hence the “4” in the name). That’s the kind of resolution you’ll see in most mainstream cinemas these days.
What do I need to watch 4K content on Netflix?
Before you start searching for all that hot 4K content, you need to make sure you have four things in place:
- 4K 60Hz TVs are capable of streaming Netflix
- A streaming device that allows 4K . content
- Strong Internet connection speed of 25Mbps or more
- Netflix plan lets you stream 4K
- Your streaming quality is set to auto or high
Is my TV compatible with 4K content?
So what exactly are the technical requirements that you will need? Besides obviously having a 4K TV, you need to make sure your TV has an HDCP 2.2 certified HDMI cable and port. You can find this information in your manual or on the manufacturer’s website. If you are looking for a cheat sheet, Netflix has very manually provided a full list of compatible devices on their website which they update regularly.
Please note, this article only deals with TV viewing. If you’re looking to use Ultra HD on your PC or laptop, then check out our guide to streaming Netflix 4K on your computer. You can also check out our top picks for smart TVs (including 4K) here.
What streaming device do I need?
If you’re watching from a 4K TV, it’s likely to be a smart TV and so you’ll be able to access Netflix directly from the main menu. However, if you prefer to watch Netflix through a box or streaming device – such as an Amazon Fire Stick or your game console – you’ll need to make sure it’s capable of Ultra HD streaming.
For example, the PlayStation 4 Pro is capable of 4K streaming, but the standard and slim versions are not. Similarly, the Amazon Fire Stick 4K does not, while the Amazon Fire Stick does not, and so does the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV. Nine times out of ten “4K” will be in the product title or in the headline description.
Again, you can find a complete list of all compatible devices on the Netflix website. If you’re looking to invest in a new streaming device, check out our top picks for multimedia streaming boxes for your TV.
How do I check my internet connection?
Now that you have a TV, you need internet speeds to match it. The recommended speed for smooth Ultra HD streaming from Netflix is 25Mbps, with higher numbers being preferred. Anything lower than that and you can run into a lot of cache problems. For a stronger connection, you may want to consider an ethernet connection instead of relying solely on Wi-Fi, as 4K consumes a lot of data. This basically means that you will connect your streaming device to your router via an ethernet cable.
If you are not sure what speed your broadband is on, we recommend going to SpeedTest.Net and using the diagnostic program of the same name.
Do I have the right Netflix plan?
Unfortunately, the Basic plan will only give you access to standard definition (SD) content. To watch in 4K, you’ll have to upgrade to Netflix’s Premium plan, which currently costs £13.99 / $19.99 per month. This package will also give you access to full privileges, see full details below:
Is my streaming quality set correctly?
Ultra HD requires streaming quality to be set to high, which in most cases will show up automatically if you’re watching from a 4K TV with a strong internet connection. You can double-check your streaming quality by first going to the account tab, then clicking “Playback Settings” under the “My Profile” section. The screen will look like this:
You should be aware that the quality at which you place your video will affect the amount of data that you use. If for some reason you are looking to preserve your data, then you will have to go down to a lower setting. However, this will then mean your content won’t appear in 4K.
What shows and movies are available in 4K on Netflix?
Unfortunately, there’s no catalog for 4K content on Netflix yet, so the process is a bit more manual. Pop into the search bar and type “4K” or “UltraHD” to see what’s available. You’ll also be able to check if your favorite show or movie is in 4K on the title card, which is displayed above the description. Scroll to the top of this page to see an example of this highlighted in the article’s header image.
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