Netflix Is Streaming Ever More 4K Content to More TVs: Here’s How to Watch It

by on October 14, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – October 14th, 2014

While 4K TVs are definitely the awesome new technology many consumers want in their homes, at least according to the growing market penetration rates of the technology, finding real native 4K content to actually watch on the TVs is still a bit tricky for some users.

This is where Netflix and its streaming Ultra HD service come into the picture. While the selection of Netflix 4K content is still limited by the standards of what’s available in the company’s Full HD streaming channels, it still offers a reasonable selection of high quality shows and movies that can allow a UHD TV owner the chance to really appreciate what full native 4K content should look like.

Furthermore, setting up Netflix is pretty easy if you follow a few straightforward steps. It’s also quite cheap, given that the new “Family” plan which comes with 4K content included now costs only $11.99 per month.

Here’s what you need to do if you want Netflix 4K.

Make sure your TV is HEVC Capable.

Not just any 4K TV can play back the specially encoded Ultra HD streams Netflix provides. It specifically needs to be capable of HEV decoding to do so. While all of the latest major brand models are indeed HEVC capable, some lesser brands and older (2013) models of name brand 4K TVs often don’t come with HEVC decoding capability.

Check if your TV or the TV you plan on buying is rated for HEVC decoding. Some models that are include the Vizio P-Series 4K TV line, the Sony Bravia models for 2014 and the Panasonic AX900 series of 4K TVs.

Panasonic AX900 on Display

Panasonic’s AX900 line of 4K TVs, which are fully HEVC capable

Fork over the Cash for your own Netflix Subscription

Netflix used to charge a single flat rate for all of its 4K content and this was included in the company’s standard streaming plan, which cost $8.99 per month. Now, while the basic $8.99 plan still exists, it no longer serves up 4K streams. In order to get these from Netflix, you need to pay a bit extra for the company’s “Family” plan.

This costs $11.99, offers the full menu of 4K content and also allows up to four simultaneous streams to different TVs in the same household (assuming your internet connection is powerful enough to handle four separate streams at the same time).

Make Sure your Internet Connection is Good Enough

Just as not all 4K TVs are good enough for Netflix, neither are all internet connections. Netflix itself recommends a connection speed of at least 25 Mbps in order for its streams to work optimally and at the very least you’ll need 20 Mbps to have an error free 4K streaming experience.

Users who want Netflix and have the right kind of TV will have to call their ISP in order to find out what kind of connectivity they’re getting.

Finding Netflix’s “Ultra HD 4K” Selection

Once you have a 4K TV that’s capable of decoding Netflix streams, have made sure your internet connection is good enough and have contracted the Netflix “Family” plan that allows Netflix content, the next step is to actually find the 4K videos the company offers.

These can be located inside the Netflix interface within the general content options under the label called “UltraHD 4K”. If you can’t find this section even after a careful search, it likely means that your HEVC decoder chip isn’t up to the standards of Netflix.

Currently, the company offers “House of Cards”, “Breaking Bad”, “Ghostbusters”, “Orange is the new Black”, “Smurfs 2” and several documentary videos in a 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

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