How to get Netflix in 4K | Guide to Ultra HD streaming

Netflix is actually one of the best places to stream 4K video content in your home theater. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find more high quality Ultra HD content anywhere else unless you are buying 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays. But unfortunately many people who have the hardware to watch 4K, don’t even realize that they are missing out on this beautifully detailed picture setting on Netflix.

We decided to put together this complete guide to how to get Netflix in 4K on your 4K TV or projector. We’ll walk you through how to actually enable 4K content on your Netflix account, what devices support 4K video resolution on Netflix, what content is available in 4K on Netflix, the cost of the Ultra HD Netflix subscription and a few more tips and tricks.

So if you own a 4K TV set and want to show it off with some 4K content on Netflix, you are in the right place.

How to enable 4K on Netflix

By default your Netflix account is set to display only content up to 1080p in resolution. This means that if you have a 4K TV you may be missing out on those sweet sweet extra pixels. The first things you need to check are:

  • You have a 4K TV
  • You have a 4K streaming device or smart TV that can stream 4K
  • You have decently fast broadband internet
  • You have the Netflix 4K subscription enabled

This section will help out with the subscription. Then we will move on to compatible devices.

How to upgrade your Netflix subscription to 4K

The easiest way to do this is just on the regular old Netflix website. Preferably on a computer. First, navigate to this webpage: https://www.netflix.com/signup/planform

You’ll want to make sure you are logged in if you already have a Netflix account. If this is your first time then this page will ask you to setup a new account.

Select the Premium plan and simply follow the prompts and you’ll be all set. Once you do this you can then login to your Netflix account on your streaming devices that are compatible with 4K and you should start seeing Ultra HD content showing up where it wasn’t before.

What about HDR High Dynamic Range?

If you have a Premium Netflix subscription then you also gain access to titles that are available in HDR mode. These will always be 4K titles, but not all 4K titles have HDR support (if that makes any sense). Netflix supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range formats but you do need to have a compatible TV or monitor to take advantage of this mode. HDR is beautiful and many argue that it adds even more to content than the bump in resolution from 1080p to 4K so definitely check it out if you have the subscription and hardware.

What TV’s support Netflix 4K Ultra HD content?

In theory any 4K Ultra HD TV will be able to display Netflix in 4K. These will be TV’s that have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Commonly you will here people refer to 2160p content as 4K content. If you are using an external streaming device then make sure both the device and your TV support HDCP 2.2. This is just a standard that allows the devices to communicate with one another properly. Don’t worry, most brand name 4K TV’s have supported this standard for years.

Netflix has a full list of compatible smart TVs that actually have the Netflix app installed which can handle 4K resolution. Check it out and find your TV brand to get details of how to set it up. This is a decent list but it is missing a few TV’s.

Which streaming boxes can stream 4K Netflix?

Probably the best way to watch 4K Netflix is with an external streaming device. Smart TVs are great, but you can’t beat the speed and stability of some of the better streaming boxes on the market. Plus these streaming devices are updated to recent security patches much more often and are generally just better supported than smart TVs.

The following streaming devices support 4K Netflix:

I’m sure there are more devices that can stream Netflix in 4K but these are probably the most popular. If you want our recommendation, the NVIDIA Shield is our favorite streaming box for 4K content right now due to its speed and up-to-date software from NVIDIA which is top of the line for an Android TV box. On a budget the Roku devices and Chromecast Ultra are your best bet. If you are into Apple products then you totally can’t go wrong with the 4K version of the Apple TV.

How to get Netflix in 4K NVIDIA Shield TV

The NVIDIA Shield TV is our favorite 4K HDR streaming box for Netflix 4K

Can I stream 4K Netflix on PC and Mac?

Yes, and no. If you have a Windows 10 PC then you should be fine. Netflix 4K works on the Edge browser and also the downloadable Netflix Windows 10 app. Mac does not have 4K Netflix support currently. But you could try to install Windows 10 on a partition on your Mac (but we won’t get into that here).

How fast should my internet be for 4K Netflix?

Netflix themselves recommend a broadband connection of at least 25 megabits per second. This will ensure that you have enough bandwidth to keep up with the 4K stream. We would recommend getting an unlimited plan on your home inetrnet if you want to regularly stream 4K content since it will burn through GB of data very quickly. Ideally having an unlimited plan with over 50 megabits per second download speed will give you everything you need to stream Netflix in 4K.

Internet speed is crucial for any smart home even outside of video streaming. Want to know how fast your internet should be? Check out our post on internet speed for smart homes.

What content is available in 4K on Netflix?

Most of Netflix’s original content is available in 4K but there are a surprising number of other TV shows and movies that are also offered in 4K. We’re not going to list every 4K title here but HDReport seems to be keeping up a very decent list for the US market. Keep in mind that it totally depends on what country you’re in, which titles are available in 4K on Netflix.

How do I find 4K content on Netflix?

Well, first you can check the list at HDReport above. But a very simple way that you can find 4K content is to go to the search function in your Netflix app and search “4K” or “Ultra HD” This will pull up all of the titles available in 2160p Ultra HD. Easy peasy.

How do I know if a title is available in 4K on Netflix?

Ever notice all of the information on the front splash page of a show on Netflix. This data shows you a little description of the show or movie but also presents useful info about the video resolution and the audio format of the title. Simply look for the 4K Ultra HD icon in the top left of the screen before you press play. If it only says 1080p then it means that this is not a 4K quality title.

Netflix 4K indicator icon

Look for the 4K Ultra HD icon on Netflix titles to make sure they are in the 4K format

Troubleshooting 4K content on Netflix

If you think you have found a title that should be in 4K and it isn’t showing up with the Ultra HD icon then make sure the following:

  • You have subscribed to the Netflix Premium plan (see above)
  • You have a 4K TV
  • You have a 4K smart TV app or 4K streaming box with Netflix installed
  • Your streaming box is connected to an HDMI input that 4K compatible (some older TVs only had a few HDMI inputs active with 4K)
  • Your internet is more than 25 megabits per second download

If all of this looks okay and it still doesn’t seem to be working you may want to look at your HDMI cable. Some older cables may not be up to snuff to carry a 4K signal (especially over longer distances). Look for HDMI cables that are rated as 4K high speed.

Like we said earlier, we’re not massive fans of using the included Netflix app with smart TVs. You’re always better off using an external 4K streaming box to send Netflix 4K to your TV. Check the on-screen display on your TV to see what resolution is actually being sent to your TV. You should be able to just click info on your remote to see this indicator of resolution.

If you are using a home theater system, make sure your A/V received supports 4K HDMI passthrough. This means that it won’t downgrade your signal and send a lesser 1080p signal to your TV. Older A/V receivers may not support 4K passthrough, especially if they are from 3-4 years ago or more. You may need to upgrade to something like this Denon AVR which supports 4K passthrough.

Failing all of these fixes, we recommend contacting the Netflix customer support to figure out your issue.

Check out these 4K streaming devices for 4K Netflix:

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