4K TVs were definitely a hot gift this past Christmas — and now that you’ve had time to set it up, it’s time to truly enjoy the 4K viewing experience. But what can you actually watch on a 4K TV? The standard is just starting to catch on, so you may need to look around a bit. To save you the hassle, we’ve done the search for you!
A brief introduction to 4K and Ultra HD
Some people will tell you that 4K is a professional production standard while UHD is a consumer and broadcast standard, and that 4K really means that the horizontal resolution is near 4000 pixels, which means some variations are possible. , , and both are true. But for the most part, you can use them interchangeably.
It should also be noted that some services require a specific TV or 4K decoder chipset to view Ultra HD content. I’ve tried to point out where this happens below, but if in doubt, check the manufacturer’s or supplier’s website.
Luckily, Netflix makes quite a lot of 4K content available and seems to be set for a long time. Two of the service’s most popular series, House of Cards and Breaking Bad are available in 4K, and new features are added regularly. However, before sitting down to look Star Trek: Into Darkness in Ultra HD, you need to make sure of a few things.
First, check out the Netflix help guide to make sure your TV can stream UHD from the service. Most TVs can, but there are some that have decoder chipsets that won’t work with the standard that Netflix uses. Just click on the link in the last sentence, select your TV manufacturer and make sure yours is listed. Also, you’ll need a very fast internet connection — Netflix recommends a minimum of 25Mbps.
Second, you need to have a premium plan from Netflix. Not everyone can stream 4K — you’ll need to be a subscriber to their top-tier plan, which will cost you $11.99 (£8.99) a month. Once you’ve made this update and made sure your TV is compatible with Netflix’s Ultra HD streaming, you’re ready to go!
If you have a Netflix-4K compatible TV, you will see an «UltraHD 4K» line on the home screen (as shown in the picture above), which contains several 4K titles that you can stream. 4k.com has a list of Netflix 4k movies and TV shows, although there is no guarantee that this is up to date.
As prices for 4K TVs continue to drop, it’s safe to say that Netflix will want to increase the number of 4K offerings fairly quickly (especially because it will get more people to sign up for a premium plan!).
Other film and television offerings
While Netflix is the best way to get most movies and TV shows in 4K, you have a few other interesting options. Both Samsung and Sony have external hard drives that are already loaded with 4K content that works with their TVs, although both have pretty negative reviews on Amazon so think twice before dropping a few hundred dollars on one. The Sony Video Unlimited service also offers 4K video.