How to get the best quality from Netflix on a Windows computer

If you’ve been using Chrome or Firefox to stream Netflix on your Windows PC, then you might be surprised to learn that you’ve been limited to 720p this entire time. That’s because Netflix doesn’t support 4K or even 1080p in either of these popular browsers for Windows users.

I’m sure that can feel like a real kick in the teeth, but there is a solution if you want the highest quality playback on a Windows computer.

In short

Use the Windows 10 Netflix app, it is the only solution that supports 4K UHD playback with HDR and 5.1 surround sound. For a more detailed explanation, keep reading.

How to stream videos in 4K UHD and HDR with a Windows PC

According to the help section on Netflix’s website, 4K resolutions are supported in the Microsoft Edge browser and Windows 10 app.

However, once you download the Netflix app or open Microsoft Edge, there are some conditions that need to be met before you can stream 4K. For starters, you’ll need a 60Hz 4K-capable display connected with an HDCP 2.2 compliant connector. A 7th generation Intel CPU is also required, as well as ensuring your Windows computer is fully updated.

What about HDR? I’m glad you asked. In order to playback content in HDR, Netflix stipulates that you must meet the requirements below. This includes, but is not limited to, a PC running Windows 10 Creators Update version 1709 using a 7th generation Intel CPU with a supported GPU, along with using the Netflix app for Windows 10.

Of course, you’ll also need to be subscribed to a plan that includes Ultra HD HDR playback and an internet connection with a speed of 25 megabits per second or higher. Once you have all of this, you’re all set to enjoy Netflix in all of its UHD high dynamic range goodness.

How to stream videos in 1080p

As I mentioned above, using Chrome or Firefox with Windows will only stream up to 720p with Netflix. What if you only pay for 1080p or your monitor only supports 1080p? In that case, you can use Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, or the Windows Netflix app for either Windows 8 or Windows 10. All of these options will stream videos up to 1080p.

What about 5.1 surround sound

If you’re like me, you love your surround sound, but if you want 5.1 audio while streaming Netflix on a PC, there is only one way. That is to use the Windows Netflix app for Windows 8 or Windows 10. Unfortunately, 5.1 surround sound is not supported by Microsoft Silverlight or HTML5, so you’re left with very little options besides using the Netflix app for Windows.

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