How to stream Netflix 4K and HDR content

Netflix 4K content has been available to stream for years now, with season two of the streaming site’s flagship series House of Cards streaming in Ultra HD 4K as early as 2014.

Of course, always aiming to be one of the key players in streaming by being one of the most high-tech, Netflix has also begun rolling out High Dynamic Range, or HDR, content. While 4K offers more pixels, HDR offers pixels with greater depth. In real terms, on HDR screens, thatmeans brighter highlights, more detail in dark scenes, and a wider color range meant to more accurately depict the real world. Really vivid imagery is what HDR promises.

So, how do you check it out? Let’s take a look.

Related: 4K vs 1080p – what’s the better choice for you?

How to watch Netflix 4K content

Netflix 4K content - Netflix HDR content

Marvel’s Daredevil, season two.

First, some helpful tips. Perhaps it goes without saying, but don’t bother trying to watch 4K content if you’re not using a 4K TV. Even if it was possible, you’d get nothing out of it.

As far as your internet connection goes, Netflix recommends available bandwidth of at least 20 to 25Mbps if you’re going to stream in 4K. The stream itself is about a continuous 16Mbps, so having slightly higher bandwidth provides enough throughput for the stream along with some wiggle room for service variability.

To stream in 4K, you’ll need a “Premium” account, which goes for $13.99 per month.

Next make sure you have the right Netflix account to stream in 4K. If paying $9 per month for 4K content seems too good to be true, well, it is. You need a Netflix Premium account to do so, and that currently goes for $13.99 per month.

That extra money gets you 4K, which means bigger video files. That also means more bandwidth, so make sure you’re covered on that front too. You don’t want to get a surprise on your internet bill or run into data caps.

The last thing you need to do before streaming 4K content on Netflix is scroll down to the 4K Ultra HD content line, or select 4K in the category menu. If you’re not seeing those, you can also just type “4K” in the search bar. Netflix does seem to rotate its 4K offerings, so there’s no static list of Netflix 4K content, unfortunately.

Once you’ve found a title you want to watch in glorious 4K, just press play, and you’re in business. If that doesn’t work, it’s probably because you haven’t met one of the above requirements.

How to watch Netflix HDR content

Netflix 4K content - Netflix HDR content

GLOW, season one.

There isn’t much to add here, as streaming in HDR is almost exactly the same as streaming in 4K.

You still need a Premium Netflix account, and a compatible TV — in this case an HDR TV rather than a 4K TV, with access to Netflix.

Editor's Pick

As with 4K, not everything is available in HDR, but titles that are will be labeled as such. You can search for HDR titles specifically or hope your favorite shows and movies are available in that format.

As long as you’ve got the right hardware and account, Netflix HDR content will stream properly on its own.

Anyone out there streaming 4K or HDR content on Netflix? Have you found it to be worth the Premium account? Do you wish Netflix had a different way of categorizing titles? Let us know in the comments.

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