Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Netflix 4K streaming on the PC is here, but the hardware requirements are ridiculous

Netflix 4K Stream

The ability to stream 4K Netflix video on your PC is finally here, but the hardware requirements to take advantage of this compelling development are incredibly stringent. As we highlighted just a few days ago, 4K video on Netflix can only be streamed by users running Microsoft’s Edge browser on a Windows 10 PC housing Intel’s next-gen Kaby Lake processor.

DEAL ALERT: The best Cyber Monday sale of the season is happening right now!

Now comes word that the universe of PCs capable of running 4K video from Netflix is even smaller than we first imagined. According to a new report from Digiworthy, GPUs from either AMD or Nvidia will leave users unable to enjoy 4K content from the streaming juggernaut that is Netflix.

“It seems that the Netflix 4K content is limited to the Intel Kaby Lake, while both AMD’s current gen Radeon RX 400 series and Nvidia GTX 10 series GPUs fail at handling it,” the report notes. “While the latest AMD Polaris and Nvidia Pascal GPUs do support HDCP 2.2 copy protection,” the report adds, “tests performed by show that the streaming giant’s 4K content is exclusive to PCs powered by Intel’s iGPU.”

As to why the requirements are unusually stringent, Hollywood bigwigs are paranoid that users will be able to capture 4K streams and redistribute them illegally. That said, it’s widely believed that the aforementioned GPUs from AMD and Nvidia aren’t yet compatible with the PlayReady 3.0 DRM that currently precludes any old browser or computer from running 4K video from Netflix.

For anyone intent on jumping into Netflix’s 4K waters, Microsoft has an updated tally of compatible machines over here.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.