Nvidia’s GTX-10/Pascal Series GPUs Are Now Unlocked For Netflix 4K Content Thanks To Updates
Stephan Jukic – July 4, 2017
Netflix 4K content first became available to ultra HD-capable PCs and monitors earlier in 2017 so long as these PCs came with Intel Kaby Lake 7th generation CPUs and also included the Windows 10 OS. Now while Windows 10 is pretty much ubiquitous in all new PCs, Kaby Lake Chipsets aren’t yet as common. Thus, for PC users who want 4K streaming from Netflix but don’t have that particular technology, Netflix in 4K had to stay off the screen.
Now however, the content streaming giant has started to expand the availability of its 4K entertainment streams into additional technologies and for now, the Kaby Lake alternative some users can look forward to is Nvidia and its GTX-10 graphics cards.
That’s right. After weeks of testing and refining the new symbiosis between Netflix and Nvidia’s newest GPUs, the two companies have made sure that 4K ultra HD streams can also be accessed by any PC owner with a Windows 10 OS, a 4K monitor (obviously) and one of Nvidia’s Pascal GTX-10 GPUs inside their machine. Owners of these graphic cards will also have to make sure that they install the 384.76 drivers or newer for their graphics cards but as long as these requirements are met, the way for streaming ultra HD content of exactly the kind available to owners of 4K UHD TVs with the Netflix app is completely open.
4K PC access to 4K content streaming is still of course in its relative infancy and even for accessing Netflix, the one single major subscription service that offers this option at the current time, the conditions for a PC to access it are, as we described above, quite extensive and definitely pricey. PC devices with Kaby Lake 7th Generation chipsets tend towards belonging to the higher end of the notebook/desktop market and the addition of GTX-10 support for Netflix 4K content doesn’t change the pricing issue too much since these kinds of graphics cards are also among Nvidia’s more expensive and advanced offerings (though with considerable price range between the different models).
The GTX-10 and Pascal series of GPUs encompasses extremely expensive 4K gaming monsters such as the company’s Titan X 2017 card and the GTX 1080Ti card and from there moves down to much more modest and affordable high-speed HD GTX-10 gaming cards for notebooks and desktop machines. All Windows 10 machine owners with the Nvidia GPUs who want to access Netflix in 4K will have to ensure that they download and install driver update 384.76 and that their PC contains the latest version of Windows 10 with PlayReady 3.0. Another specific requirement for 4K Netflix content steaming is a 4K PC monitor with HDCP 2.2 functionality built into it. This is the 4K content copy protection standard that’s also used by all 4K TVs and other devices which regularly stream content from Netflix and other sources.
Not all 4K monitors come with HDCP 2.2 and for the most part only newer 2016 and 2017 models include the encryption protocol. Downloading the Netflix app for the Windows 10 OS itself is also a requirement. The 4K content won’t stream from Google Chrome through the normal Netflix website. We should also mention that yes, you’ll need a fast enough internet connection as well. At least 25Mbps is what Netflix requires for subscribers to its 4K content-included monthly package.
It’s worth noting here that unless you’re already equipped with most of the devices for the above 4K PC streaming requirements, going through the trouble of buying a 4K monitor with HDCP, a Nvidia GTX-10 Pascal GPU and a decent enough 4K-capable notebook or desktop device will cost you a fair bit more than the price of any decent mid-range or budget 4K TV, which would automatically come with Netflix 4K content support built right into it. And with a 4K TV, users can enjoy their favorite episodes of “breaking Bad” and “House of Cards” or whatnot on a much larger display than those of most 4K PC monitors. In other words, while it’s cool to see Netflix finally reach the PC landscape, enjoying it is still a tricky and somewhat expensive proposition.
Story by 4k.com