Netflix 4K Streaming Comes To PC, But Only If You’re Running Windows 10 And Kaby Lake

Netflix 4K streaming support has long been in place for high-end televisions and streaming boxes, but those with [seemingly] 4K-capable hardware on the PC have been left on the sidelines. That is until today — Netflix has announced that 4K streaming is coming to the PC, but the system requirements are so confined at this point that it’s unlikely that your current rig is supported.

For starters, you’ll need to be running Windows 10 and specifically use the Edge browser. While some enthusiasts may balk at using Windows 10, this is actually the least restrictive requirement. You’ll of course need at least a 4K display at your disposal, but most importantly, you’ll need to be running a Intel’s 7th generation Kaby Lake processors due to its support for the 10-bit HEVC 4K video codec; something that isn’t found in Skylake or older Intel processors. It's not clear whether the Netflix PC app supports 4K on discrete GPUs, but it requires HDCP 2.2 and the proper codec support, which on the AMD side, requires a Polaris GPU and on the NVIDIA side requires a Pascal.


Considering that Kaby Lake is only currently available for notebooks and convertibles, finding a device that actually supports all of these requirements for 4K Netflix streaming on the PC will be quite difficult to come across. Whatever the case, Microsoft and Netflix seem to be using the arrival of 4K support mostly to hype up the upcoming release of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

And Microsoft once again uses its promotion of Edge to carpet bomb Google Chrome, with Microsoft’s Mollie Ruiz-Hopper writing, “When streaming Netflix on Microsoft Edge you can get through at least one more full episode of Gilmore Girls than when streaming on Chrome on battery – and you know one episode can be the difference between Chris and Lorelai casually dating and being a married couple.”

So while it’s a bit disheartening to see that those running Skylake won’t be able to stream in 4K, we’re sure that you can have a better experience by watching Netflix 4K content on your big screen TV instead of huddling around your desktop monitor (or notebook) screen.