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Netflix can now be streamed to PCs in 4K (just not your PC)

By Shawn Knight
Nov 22, 2016
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  1. Fact – it’s finally possible to stream Netflix to your PC in 4K quality. Reality – your PC almost certainly isn't capable of doing so. Here’s why.

    Up to this point, the only way to stream Netflix in 4K quality was to either use a compatible Smart TV or a 4K streaming device like one of Roku’s new set-top boxes. That restriction has always been a bit of a bummer for viewers with high-end PCs technically capable of driving a 4K streaming experience.

    One would think that now, with that restriction lifted, PC users would be jumping for joy. Nope, not even close.

    As it turns out, there are some serious restrictions in place for prospective 4K PC streamers. For starters, you’ll need to be using Windows 10 and naturally, you’ll want a 4K-capable display. Furthermore, one can only watch Netflix in 4K using Microsoft’s Edge browser.

    The real kicker, however, is that you must be running a seventh-generation Intel Kaby Lake processor to reap the 4K rewards. This means that even Microsoft’s brand new 27-inch Surface Studio all-in-one can’t view Netflix in 4K. There are only a handful of laptops and convertibles on the market using Kaby Lake processors; desktop parts won’t be here until sometime early next year.

    Who is to blame for this atrocity? Hollywood, of course.

    As The Verge highlights, DRM requirements from Hollywood studios and TV networks are incredibly strict as they’re dead set on preventing users from capturing 4K streams and distributing them illegally on the web. Kaby Lake, as it so happens, is the only Intel processor family that supports 10-bit HEVC (a popular 4K video codec).

    That said, your best bet today to watch Netflix in 4K is either through a Smart TV or dedicated streaming device.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Guru Posts: 372   +323

    "As The Verge highlights, DRM requirements from Hollywood studios and TV networks are incredibly strict as they’re dead set on preventing users from capturing 4K streams and distributing them illegally on the web"

    Of course, lets put restrictive DRM on our stuff, because that has been totally proven to work before!

    Morons.
     
  3. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,917   +684

    So if someone did want to capture the 4K streams, they would need a Kaby Lake Processor. But they could still capture the streams... So all you've actually done is p*ss off 99% of people who want to watch 4K streams on their PC.

    Well done Hollywood, As Theinsanegamer put it... Morons...
     
  4. Radical

    Radical TS Enthusiast Posts: 33   +22

    For the last time, Hollywood, make it easy to watch what they want, how they want it, and people will pay the $$.

    As burty117 said, "as Theinsanegamer put it, morons".
     
    Burty117 likes this.
  5. Arturas

    Arturas TS Rookie

    Wow, this sounds like a really dumb idea... I think Radical put it best when he said "As burty117 said, "as Theinsanegamer put it, morons".
     
    SantistaUSA and Burty117 like this.
  6. Mr Dude

    Mr Dude TS Rookie

    DRM requirements! Because why innovate, when you can monetize?

    As Arturas put it. "I think Radical put it best when he said "As burty117 said, "as Theinsanegamer put it, morons"." "
     
    Burty117 likes this.
  7. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 865   +434

    Agree with everyone so far.

    As Mr Dude put it:
    "DRM requirements! Because why innovate, when you can monetize? As Arturas put it. "I think Radical put it best when he said "As burty117 said, "as Theinsanegamer put it, morons"." " "
     
    Burty117 and Reehahs like this.
  8. Badvok

    Badvok TS Booster Posts: 121   +50

    While even the cheapest Intel Kaby Lake i3 processor will provide support for decoding 10-bit HEVC I doubt Netflix will prevent other GPUs from taking the load off other processors. I think we'll need to wait for Netflix to update their support pages for exact details.
     
  9. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Booster Posts: 157   +61

    Sometimes it just seems like Hollywood is dead set on distroying all of their revenue streams.



    As RustyTech put it:

    "As Mr Dude put it:"DRM requirements! Because why innovate, when you can monetize? As Arturas put it. "I think Radical put it best when he said "As burty117 said, "as Theinsanegamer put it, morons"." " ""
     
  10. Win7Dev

    Win7Dev TS Evangelist Posts: 563   +172

    And yet youtube has supported 4k streaming for a few years now and it works very well for me.
     
    Reehahs and MonsterZero like this.
  11. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Booster Posts: 187   +88

    Is it possible to use modern gpus (10x0 series and rx480) for decoding that drm thing than upgrading thge cpu and motherboard?
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  12. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,648   +521

    Man Hollywood can really be a bunch of schmucks sometimes... Well, maybe by the time 4K catches on the industry will be flooded with CPUs capable of decoding it and this will have all been for nothing. What am I saying this will be defeated in a matter of months at best, piracy can't be beat, and the harder they try the more people will turn to it. Or even worse, you drive away the paying customers because it becomes too much of a hassle for them to simply enjoy the content they want.
     
    Evernessince likes this.
  13. Das Pooch

    Das Pooch TS Rookie

    One more examples of Hollywood trying to delay the inevitable, with the end restbeing that people will just take it as a challenge.

    Nearly 20 years on, and they're still locked in place.
     
  14. GreenNova343

    GreenNova343 TS Member Posts: 35   +18

    Honestly, the only reason that you should "need" a Kaby Lake CPU for this, versus another CPU, is if you're relying on the integrated GPU for the video stream...since the "4K or not 4K" display comes from the GPU portion.

    But yeah, even if you don't have Kaby Lake, if you have a GTX 1070 or 1080 you'll be sitting pretty (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1080-pascal,4572-4.html, http://www.anandtech.com/show/10325...tx-1080-and-1070-founders-edition-review/12).

    A number of other stories seem to indicate that AMD's newer Radeons (R9 300 series, R9 Fury, maybe the RX series) & the APUs (at least from Carrizo) may have H.265/HEVC support, but I'm wondering if it's like the GTX 950/960's support (I.e. limited to 8-bit vs. the 10-bit talked about here), or possibly referring to the older H.264 codec. It's kind of hard to nail it down.

    In any case, it seems awfully limiting to have such a limited list of hardware options available.
     
  15. YorkshireTeaLvr

    YorkshireTeaLvr TS Rookie

    I'd like to know why Netflix is so adamant when it comes to simple HD on PC? Why limit it to just Windows 10 (Edge)? Odd thing is that I can get HD on Netflix's own movies using Chrome (Win 7), but I can't get HD on anything else (other movies, series). Amazon, Hulu, HBOGo all work fine. The only exception is Netflix.
     
  16. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,038   +269

    Netflix has a Windows app for 8.1 and 10. Right now, the app is the only way to get DD+ audio. So now, we have to use Edge plus a Kaby Lake proc to get 4K content?

    Hollywood has always been morons when it comes to DRM. The same moronic position is likely behind the reason that we are as yet unable to buy a UHD Blu-ray drive for a PC and watch UHD Blu-ray discs on our PCs. If we had the ability to do so now, I, and a number of others from other forums, would be buying 4K Blu-ray discs. Seems like Hollowwood will just continue to blow their feet off.
     
    Evernessince likes this.
  17. risc32

    risc32 TS Booster Posts: 197   +87

    As CaptainTom put it,

    "As RustyTech put it:
    "As Mr Dude put it:"DRM requirements! Because why innovate, when you can monetize? As Arturas put it. "I think Radical put it best when he said "As burty117 said, "as Theinsanegamer put it, morons"." " ""
     
  18. Jose Calderon

    Jose Calderon TS Rookie

    Come on people this is the firs step, is only a matter of time 4k support on pc will be better. I have a intel 6700k and their crazy if they think Im gonna do an CPU upgrade for 4k streaming. I better watch it in my samsung 55KS8000 .
     

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