Netflix is one such name which almost everyone who loves to watch some TV series around the world is aware of. They are streaming 4K content on apps for the streaming boxes as well as the UHD TVs which have Netflix app installed on them. However, it was not available on the PC. It was limited to 1080p Full HD on the same. That changes now as Netflix 4K content will be now available on PC as well.
One of the possible reasons why Netflix was not offering 4K content on PC could be piracy. Piracy and resultant uploads on torrent sites within minutes are the root cause of millions of dollars of losses to the makers.
If you are living under a rock and have no clue about Netflix, do not worry. We will tell you what it is. Netflix is the world’s most popular online streaming service. It is present roughly in around 200 countries. Netflix earlier announced a huge user base which stood at a whopping 86 million users worldwide.
Requirements for running Netflix 4K content on PC
Despite the fact that the Netflix 4K content is now available to the PC users as well, there is a downside to it. The requirements are such that most of the Netflix subscribers will be definitely left out of the mix.
There is a fairly high chance that your machine is not up to the mark unless you bought one recently and it is pretty premium one, not a basic one. Hold your breath because we are going to point out all the absurd requirements now :-
- The streaming is possible only on Microsoft Edge browser. This means that you need to be running Windows 10 on your system. If you upgraded to Windows 10 with the introductory one-year free for all offer, you are in the clear. If you didn’t, then currently you can forget Netflix 4K content and stick to the Full HD one. Or, you can purchase Windows 10 only if you fulfil all other requirements. In case you have a Mac, you can forget about it as well.
- The next requirement is that your processor needs to the latest one i.e. Intel 7th generation processors. They are built on Kaby Lake architecture. Anything older than that? You cannot stream Netflix 4K content on your system.
- Also, you need to have a 4K display. Anything less than that and you will not be able to stream at 4K. QHD is not good enough. How unfortunate!
More about Netflix 4K content
Why Edge browser? This must be the first question running through your mind after you saw the above-mentioned requirements, isn’t it? Well, this can be attributed to the DRM requirements. Content providers have really very strict for 4K streaming so that the content cannot be captured and then posted online.
Next up is the Kaby Lake architecture (Intel 7th Gen processors). Maybe, Microsoft wanted to make sure that the battery is efficient or maybe it is because the Kaby Lake architecture natively supports 10-bit HEVC (High Efficiency Video Codec), a very popular codec for 4K content. Or it is probably because Kaby Lake architecture comes with the additional security in the form of HDCP 2.2 (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). It a security measure which ensures that one is not able to copy 4K videos.
Finally, it is the 4K display. Nothing is fundamentally wrong with that but there are not a lot of laptops and PCs out there right now which happen to have Kaby Lake architecture as well as 4K display.
Microsoft is taking full advantage of this opportunity and promoting its Edge browser. They claim that it will let you watch one extra episode than on the Google Chrome.
In a nutshell, you will have to upgrade your hardware in order to stream Netflix 4K content on your PC. If you think that it is not possible anytime soon, then I must say ‘Welcome to the club!’ You, me and millions of other users will probably not be able to stream 4K content on our machines.
If you want to stream 4K content on your 4K TV, then you will have to become a premium subscriber. For that, you will have to shell out $12 a month in the US. In India, the cost for the premium subscription is Rs.800 per month. The users will also get early access to some Netflix shows then everyone else. That is it for now. Stay tuned for more updates.