Native 4K content remains very scarce at present, though availability is growing fast. Samsung and Sony 4K Ultra HD televisions in the USA have access to proprietary content in the form of the former’s UHD Video Pack and the latter’s 4K Media Player respectively, the choices available to UK and European viewers are much more limited, of which Netflix 4K is probably the most easily accessible.
Video streaming specialist Netflix has begun offering a handful of material in ultra high-definition resolution, starting with political drama House Of Cards Season 2 back in April 2014, followed by Breaking Bad in June 2014. Whilst not necessarily better in picture quality than well-mastered 1080p Blu-rays, Netflix’s 4K clips look visibly superior to the company’s second- and third-highest “Super HD” and “1080p HD” layers.
To watch Netflix 4K, you will need:
- A Netflix Premium subscription: £6.99 a month in the UK; $12.00 in the United States
- A compatible 4KTV with inbuilt HEVC decoding and updated Netflix client. Most of the 2014 4K televisions support Netflix 4K streaming, except for Panasonic’s AX800/ AX802 whose Pro4 processing chip does not meet Netflix’s certification; and
- A broadband connection with a speed of at least 15 Mbps.
Netflix recommends higher speeds than 15 Mbps, given that some services slow down during periods of high contention, though a stable 15Mb will give you Netflix’s 4K streams running at their best.
As well as a very fast broadband connection, you will also need a 4K TV capable of decode Netflix’s HEVC H.265 delivery system. Such decoding capabilities are far from universal in the current 4K TV market, so you need to be careful which UHD TV you buy to view Netflix 4K.
At present, Netflix does not have enough 4K content available to UK subscribers to justify the extra £3 a month it’s asking over and above its HD subscription.
Netflix Overseas or from other countries
The United States has by far the largest selection of content, though in many regions it is very limited. Although your country may have Netflix, the content you can see will be restricted by region. You will still need to mask or cloak your current location to be able to view all the best Netflix content. You may be overseas and want to view content from the UK or US, then you will need to use a Virtual Private Network.
Get a UK or US VPN from StreamVia
For more information about 4K on Netflix, see: List of 4K Titles on Netflix
Ultra HD TVs with Netflix 4K
At present, only a very few TVs have the capabilities required to support Netflix in 4K. The technical requirement is HEVC – the successor to MPEG4, though even with HEVC built-in you may encounter some problems.
Listed below are Ultra HD TVs with support for Netflix 4K.
Ultra HD TVs with Netflix 4K:
– LG UB8300 (UB830V)
– LG UB8500 (UB850V)
– LG UB9500 (UB950V)
– LG UB9800 (UB980V)
– LG 65EC970O (4K OLED-TV)
– Panasonic AX800
– Panasonic AX900
– Panasonic X940
– Samsung F9000 (requires a new One Connect)
– Samsung HU6950 (HU6900)
– Samsung HU7100
– Samsung HU7200
– Samsung HU7250
– Samsung HU7500
– Samsung HU8200
– Samsung HU8500
– Samsung HU8550
– Samsung HU8700
– Samsung HU9000
– Sony S9 (curved 4K TV)
– Sony X850B (X8505B)
– Sony X900B (X9005B)
– Sony X950B (X9505B)
– Vizio P series (only in the US)
Streaming media boxes with Netflix 4K:
– Sony FMP-X5 (Europe)
– Sony FMP-X10 (US)
– Philips UHD 880