Earlier this year, 4K Netflix streaming finally made its way to Windows PCs. However, at the time, it was made available only for those using Intel’s seventh generation Kaby Lake processors.
Kaby Lake had become a requirement for this to happen, in part due to its support for 10-bit HEVC, the 4K codec used by Netflix and other streaming services. Fortunately for those using an older CPU, Netflix 4K streaming expands to more systems with Nvidia’s new GeForce 384.76 series drivers.
After a month or so of public testing, Nvidia’s latest driver unlocks 4K Netflix on Windows 10 for all GTX 10-series owners. You will no longer need a cutting-edge processor to get it to work since the 4K decoding is taking place on the discrete graphics card.
There are a few important caveats to consider here. Firstly, you will need to have all your active 4K monitors be HDCP 2.2 compliant. If you have a multi-monitor set-up then deactivate monitors with HDCP 1.x when streaming.
The second major requirement is that you need the Windows Store app of Netflix. You should either have the app, or the Netflix website on Microsoft’s Edge web-browser.
You won’t be able to stream Ultra-HD content via Google Chrome. 4K streaming only works in Edge, because it’s the only browser that supports PlayReady 3.0 DRM which Microsoft introduced with the Windows 10 Anniversary update.
Besides these, make sure you’re running the latest version of Windows 10, and an Internet connection around 25Mbps or faster. If you satisfy the above requirements, a GTX 10-series GPU on the 384.76 drivers and an HDCP 2.2 compliant 4K monitor, then you are good to go.
What are your thoughts on 4K Netflix streaming on GTX 10-series GPUs? Do tell us in the comments below.
Update, Dec. 21, 2017: Just before Christmas, Netflix has added support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) on Windows 10. The company now offers 4K playback with HDR in the Microsoft Edge bowser and their Windows 10 app on compatible devices. You can read more about the announcement at Netflix TechBlog.