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Home / Tips and Tricks / Why you don't get Netflix in HD or 4K and how to fix it

Why you don't get Netflix in HD or 4K and how to fix it

You have just arrived home from a long, hard day at work. Prepared to put your feet up and relax for an hour, sink down on the couch, start your 4K TV and start an episode of your favorite program (Black Mirror or Stranger Things, [te spelen] without a doubt). Netflix clearly states that it is in 4K Ultra HD, but what you are looking at could not even continue as a "standard" definition. So what gives?

Although it would be easy to point your finger at Netflix and go to social media to fling it to ruin your evening (or forbid heaven, weekend), the truth is that with so many variables between you institutions and theirs, a little problem solving is needed to find out the reason. Usually it is your internet connection that is between you and 4K Heaven, and not Netflix itself.

But before you panic your internet provider, you first have to look a little closer to home to make sure it is absolutely wrong ̵

1; starting with your software and hardware settings and then working backwards to find as many bottlenecks as possible. to eliminate. The solution can be as simple as adjusting your data limit on Netflix or restarting your router.

Let's start.

Go to the source

Your first step is to check your Netflix subscription and settings. Your plan is likely to support HD streaming, but some plans only allow streaming in standard definition, and 4K Ultra HD (UHD) streaming is only available on the most expensive plan, so it is at least worth it double check. If you are unsure, we have a clear overview of all the plans that the streaming titan offers.

If you have the right plan, the next order of operation is to adjust Netflix streaming options. Start by opening your account and search under Your profile the playback settings . Here you can see four different options: Low Medium High and Auto . It is probably clear what they mean, but here is a detailed overview of how each setting influences your image quality (and possibly your data hood).

  • Low: Streaming at this level costs around 0.3 GB per hour. Low quality streaming forces the content to play with standard definition. This is the best option for people with poor connections, or for those who stream with data limits.
  • Average: Medium quality streaming will tick your data usage to around 0.7 GB per hour. At this limit you are still stuck in the standard definition.
  • High: High quality streaming allows you to open HD and 4K UHD streams with the right plan, but that also means that your data usage can vary a bit. Depending on your network, you can use 3 GB per hour for standard 720p streaming or up to 7 GB per hour for UHD streaming.
  • Auto: As the name suggests, this causes your streaming quality to fluctuate in accordance with your current internet speeds and network connection for the most stable streaming experience. With that stability, however, there is a greater chance of quality loss.

If you stream on an option other than High you will not get HD or 4K UHD quality from Netflix. Please note that it may take up to eight hours for a change to be made to these settings, so be patient if you switch and do not notice an immediate change in your image quality. Again, higher streaming resolutions burn through data as if it is covered with kerosene, so watch your use if you have a data hood.

Browser limits

Not all browsers are made equal, and that is especially true when it comes to streaming. Although almost every popular internet browser is capable of streaming Netflix content in HD, the HD quality varies between browsers. Here is a simple look at the maximum resolution that any browser on a computer can.

  • Google Chrome: Up to 720p
  • Firefox: Up to 720p
  • Opera: Up to 720p
  • Safari: Up to 1080p (on Macs with OS X 10.10.3 or higher)
  • Microsoft Edge: Up to 4K (requires HDCP 2.2 compatible connection to a 4K screen, with at least Intel & # 39; s 7th-generation Core CPU, plus the latest version of Windows) [19659012] Internet Explorer: Up to 1080p

Are you prepared to stream HD or UHD video?

You may pay for a fast internet connection, but that does not necessarily mean that you have fast internet. Follow our guide to see what kind of download speeds you get. If you get a little less than 10 Mbps and there is more than one device in your home over the internet, you will be hard pressed to see a Full HD stream – and certainly no UHD – from Netflix.


Do you not see a good number? There are several things you can do to ensure that you get the speeds you should get, from choosing the right internet plan to installing the right kind of router. We recommend that you check our list of the best wireless routers to ensure that you establish the fastest possible connection on your network.

With your home network in top form, you can be confident that your internet pipes are not the best ones that are hidden. With that in mind, it's time to step back and consider whether the lines that feed your home are as open as they should be.

Is your ISP the culprit?

After a lot of pressure, Netflix started a few ISPs, including Comcast and Suddenlink, for so-called & # 39; fast lanes & # 39 ;, which are intended to ensure that its video streams reach its customers faster and more reliably with using those ISP & # 39; s.

You may be doomed to poor Netflix image quality. [19659029] If you use an Internet provider that has not made arrangements with Netflix, whether it is a paid fast-lane agreement or via the "open connect" program of Netflix, you may be doomed to a poor Netflix photo quality – especially if you live in a large market with many internet users. You can consult the Netflix ISP speed website to get an idea of ​​where Netflix is ​​in the prices of your ISP. If your ISP seems to score poorly, it is possible – though hard to prove – that your ISP could smother you and all Netflix users on its network. If you suspect this might be the case, a virtual way to hide what you are doing for your ISP is a virtual private network (VPN). We have a handy guide for everything you need to know about VPNs that might be useful here.

Check your watch

If you have not noticed it, Netflix starts playing a stream faster than it can be played at full quality, buffering for the full resolution version en route. As soon as this is possible, the stream is displayed at full resolution.

As the bandwidth decreases, the video resolution decreases until the full-resolution stream is sufficiently buffered again. Apparently, Netflix does this to keep loading times short, so you don't feel it will take forever to watch your show. This intelligent adjustment makes Netflix feel spicy, but at the wrong time of the day it can also look like waste during the first few minutes.

  Netflix app is loading

While we were experimenting with Netflix quality for an entire day, we discovered that the biggest factor that influences power quality is the time of day and whether that time is below typical peak hours falls to look. You want to keep peak hours (essentially prime time hours after 6 pm) in mind and adjust your expectations.

What else can I do?

If you are sure that your home network is solid and the ISP you subscribe to offers good Netflix streaming speeds, but your experience is poor, call your ISP and report the problem. Make sure the agent knows you are talking about before they drag you through a 45-minute troubleshooting script session, and cross your fingers that they will try to do something about it instead of just pointing a finger at Netflix . [19659002] Fortunately, this is a problem that you will encounter much less than you were used to. On the other hand, depending on where you live, you may not have the option to switch ISPs or do something else to get a better streaming experience. If this is the case, you can't do much else than cancel your subscription to tell Netflix that if they can't offer you a better experience in your area, you won't be paying for it.

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