Netflix 4K Streaming Finally Comes to PC, But There’s a Catch

While Netflix has been a hit among many users due to its 4K streaming service and affordable rates, there was a group of people who weren’t able to watch Netflix content in 4K resolution – the PC users. However, it looks like Netflix 4K streaming has finally made its way to PC users this week.

This looks like as if PCs weren’t as powerful as they are now to support 4K streaming. If you are thinking like this then you are totally wrong. There are already many PC games that runs on 4K resolution and many PCs can easily handle 4K content. However, with Netflix, they were limited to streaming only 1080p content on their PCs even if they had a powerful PC.

Netflix hasn’t officially announced this yet but according to a Microsoft blog, Netflix 4K streaming is exclusively available for Windows 10 PCs. The misery doesn’t end just here. There is a very nasty catch here. In order to benefit from the new 4K Netflix streaming support on your PC, you should use Microsoft Edge browser on your Windows 10 PC to watch it. At this point, you might be thinking ‘not a big deal’ however there is another tricky part about it.

As it stands, Netflix 4K streaming is only supported on Windows 10 PCs having the latest Intel Kaby Lake processors – the 7th gen Intel processors succeeding the 6th generation Sky Lake processors. This makes Netflix 4K streaming practically unavailable for current generation of PC users.

kaby-lake-processors

You might be thinking that you spend about $1000 on a PC with 6th generation Core i7 processor and a GTX 1070 still you won’t be able to stream 4K content from Netflix. Well, there is a good reason for it. Streaming 4K requires a lot of power and the content creators intend to get that processing power from CPUs rather than from GPUs. It looks like the current generation GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD don’t have enough power to convince DRM authors to support 4K streaming on them. This means that until the early 2017, Netflix 4K streaming support is not available for everyone as the 7th generation Intel chips aren’t expected to come before 2017.

If you are planning to build a PC that can also support 4K streaming, it is better to wait a bit more ( say 2 months) and get a system with Kaby Lake processor.