4K Netflix in Browser? Only with Microsoft Edge

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 23, 2016
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Internet, Microsoft Edge

4K streaming is still in its infancy for the most part, but companies like Netflix are pushing the new resolution especially when it comes to own productions.

But Netflix 4K streaming is quite demanding: First, you need a monitor or TV that supports the 4K resolution.Then you need a fairly speedy Internet connection, and the right plan on Netflix that enables support for 4K streams on top of that.

If you want to watch 4K on your television, you furthermore need it to support that through native apps, or have a device connected to the TV that supports 4K streaming.

Microsoft announced recently that the company's own Edge browser is the only web browser out there that supports Netflix 4K streams.

While that may be interesting for those of you who use a 4K monitor when they work on their computer, it is the following requirement that may torpedo the availability of the viewing experience significantly.

You may only watch Netflix in 4K using Microsoft Edge if the computer is equipped with an Intel 7th generation Kaby Lake processor.

Kaby Lake was officially announced on August 30, 2016 but shipments to OEMs and manufacturers began in the second quarter already.

Even recent devices, take Microsoft's new Surface Book for instance, are not equipped with a Kaby Lake processor yet. There are not many PCs out there just yet that ship with a Kaby Lake processor.

This leaves users who bought the CPU individually, for instance to upgrade an existing PC or build a new rig instead. But Kaby Lake processors are not readily available on the majority of PC hardware shopping sites either.

The situation will get better over time, but it seems unlikely that many Windows 10 users will be able to enjoy the Netflix premiere of the new Gilmore Girls season in 4K glory.

Microsoft Edge is also the only browser out there for Windows to support 1080p streaming on Netflix. All other browsers on Windows support up to 720p playback only.

Microsoft noted on top of that that Edge is also the browser to pick on mobile devices, as it offers better battery performance than other browsers. The company bases this on tests that it ran recently comparing the battery live of Edge to that of Chrome, Opera and Firefox. Google and Opera Software tests came to other results however, so take this with a grain of salt.

If you are one of the lucky few whose system meets all the requirements, enjoy!

4K Netflix in Browser? Only with Microsoft Edge
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4K Netflix in Browser? Only with Microsoft Edge
Microsoft announced recently that the company's own Edge browser is the only web browser out there that supports Netflix 4K streams.
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  1. CHEF-KOCH said on November 23, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    It’s incorrect. You can’t there are restrictions, pls re-read the article.

    Platforms like Netflix have several restrictions and they will always have because some always want to abuse such services, e.g. behind VPN – as an result Netflix blocked all VPN services.

    1. Heimen Stoffels said on November 24, 2016 at 11:05 am

      It’s their own fault for people wanting to use a VPN. For example, here in the Netherlands, lots of people either used a VPN+Netflix or still use other illegal streaming sites to stream series and/or episodes that aren’t available on Netflix (yet). They don’t care about Dutch subtitles at all. Netflix Netherlands knows that many customers are demanding just that but they don’t listen and wait many months before they make something available because they still insist on making subtitles available first. They just don’t listen to us customers. So people who use a VPN (at least Dutch people) to watch all of that on Netflix USA is kind of Netflix’s own fault.

      1. Mathew said on November 30, 2016 at 6:30 am

        You are absolutely right Heimen Stoffels

  2. ilev said on November 23, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    You can stream 4K/8K videos from YouTube on ANY laptop, desktop, smartphone you want….no restrictions and no favors from Microsoft.

  3. Anonymous said on November 23, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    You can stream 4K/8K videos from YouTube on ANY laptop, desktop, smartphone you want….no restrictions.

    1. Heimen Stoffels said on November 26, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Eh, YouTube does restrict anything above 720p in certain browsers. I really have to open up Vivaldi (or Chromium) to watch 1080p or 4K. Even their help section specifically says that.

  4. CHEF-KOCH said on November 23, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    The title is wrong. It’s currenly only with Edge but you can be sure every other Browser will get an update for it.

    Besides the 4k hype it should be mentioned that you need a special processor, because Netflix want the new Kaby-Lake CPU, which really pissed me/others off – it’s ridiculous, because most people anyway have a good GPU so why you need an onboard processor to deal with that? There should be an additional check and if there is enough process power it should work trough the GPU.

    Well I’m and maybe never will be an huge Netflix fan but this is/was the wrong decision and restrict/limit again some people out.

    I also not get it why 4k needs so hard to be pushed right now, there are very little benefits and you need just another TV/Monitor to get ‘all’ benefits, and then there is the other question if it makes sense to use and waste resources to watch 4k if you behind 1,5 meters behind the screen.

    I will skip it.

    1. ReeseChloris said on May 14, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      IKR, I’ve got a 6700, so it’s really annoying that I’m so close yet so far away

    2. Corky said on November 23, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      Technically speaking the title is correct, It’s currenly only with Edge and if or when other browser get an update it won’t be, although i wouldn’t hold your breath though as this restriction is something Netflix has chosen to do as previously 1080p used to be allowed on all browsers until Windows 10 was released and then they claimed 1080p was only available on Windows 10 using Edge.

      It’s open to speculation why Netflix decided to lock 1080p down to Windows 10 and Edge when it was released when previously they supported all browsers on Windows 8.

      1. Heimen Stoffels said on November 24, 2016 at 11:00 am

        Eh, as I mentioned earlier I have no problems watching 1080p Netflix on my laptop in Chromium and Vivaldi so they haven’t locked 1080p down. 4K is locked down to MS Edge and Smart TV’s though.

  5. AAA said on November 23, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    LOL. With the monitor’s screen size, who would want to watch a 4k resolution video on it? Get a TV! LOL

  6. LD said on November 23, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Smart TV plus Netflix for 4K here too. Amazon is making itself a Netflix competitor and will soon have a new and large library of content. These costs are reasonable for a good number of people. As 4K matures, the TVs will drop in cost just as they have done in the past. Bandwidth costs are the killer because of the way the industry is structured – can not see these vultures knocked off their perch though.

    I would not spend all that money on a mobile 4K solution. Besides Edge being crap and W10 in eternal beta, there is also the W10 update policy that makes Microsoft a bad choice for this medium. Kaby Lake, who knows what will happen with it – considering it does not offer much more over Sky Lake other than 4K support. I would not be surprised if it got skipped. Not good to buy silicon that has a shelf equal to the life of a gnat.

  7. Heimen Stoffels said on November 23, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Oh well, I’m using a Linux laptop and am able watch Netflix in 1080p so I don’t mind. Besides: I’m not even watching it that much on my laptop anyway, I’m mostly watching Netflix on our Samsung 4K Smart TV where Netflix does support 4K in their native app (and even advertises their 4K movies/series in-app!) and I can confirm that it works great.

    1. Stef said on November 26, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      How did you manage to get 1080p on linux?

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