By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I have trouble finding shows in 4K which is frustrating because I have a great 4K TV and I want to watch shows that will look great on my expensive TV! I hear that Netflix has a lot of 4K shows. Can you give me the details on how to get 4K from Netflix? Is it expensive? — Frank, Easton, Maryland.
Larry, Netflix has one of the best 4K catalogs in the TV industry with hundreds of movies and TV shows in the format, including Painkiller, the new opioid drama starring Matthew Broderick, Heart of Stone, the new action-adventure movie starring Gal Gadot, The Lincoln Lawyer, the new legal dramatic series, and The Witcher, the fantasy series starring Henry Cavill, among many others. Many of the 4K shows on Netflix are also available in Dolby Vision and HDR (High Dynamic Range), which can make the picture even more vivid and realistic.
You can find out if a title is in 4K by clicking on it and searching for the 4K or Dolby Vision label at the top of the episode information. There’s usually a Menu line for 4K titles on your Netflix home page. If you’re having trouble finding either, I suspect you do not have Netflix’s 4K package. The only Netflix plan that offers 4K programming is its Premium package which costs $19.99 a month. In addition to providing 4K titles, Netflix’s ‘Premium’ plan allows you to watch the streamer on four different screens at the same time. You can also add up to two non-family members to your account for $7.99 a month each, avoiding Netflix’s recent password crackdown. The next lowest Netflix package (Standard), which costs $15.49 a month, does not include 4K or four simultaneous screens. You only get HD programming and two screens.
How to Watch 4K On Netflix
One last note to get 4K on Netflix: The service advocates that your Internet speed be a minimum of 25 Mbps to watch a program in 4K. Otherwise, your show will likely experience technical hiccups, known as buffering, causing the picture to freeze or go black for a period of time. I should also note that Netflix isn’t saying you need to subscribe to a 25 Mbps plan from your Internet provider. It means your speed should consistently be 25 Mbps. And that means you need a plan that has a higher maximum speed, such as 50 Mbps or 75 Mbps (or higher), to ensure that your viewing speed will be at least 25 Mbps most of the time. As you probably know, the true speed of your Internet service often is significantly lower than the advertised maximum speed, particularly if you are using a WiFi system.
Frank, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann