If Netflix users who have a 4K TV cannot watch series and films in 4K resolution, there can be various reasons. The technology or subscription may not meet the requirements, but it could also be due to an incorrect setting.

A 4K or Ultra HD resolution is now standard for Netflix content. Despite this, quite a few users find that the resolution is lower and the picture less sharp than expected, even though their TV should be able to handle it. ntv.de names the possible causes and what you can do about it.

According to Netflix, 4K TVs built from 2014 should be able to stream in UHD with the Netflix app. If it still doesn’t work, you should first check your Netflix subscription. Because in order to be able to see films and series in the highest resolution, the service requires a premium subscription for 17.99 euros per month. In the basic tariff for 7.99 euros there is only HD quality, with the standard subscription for 12.99 euros Full HD resolution.

If you no longer know which tariff you are currently using, you can visit the Netflix page in the browser on the PC to change the streaming subscription. Alternatively, you tap on your profile picture in the smartphone or tablet app, select account and scroll down to subscription details.

The bandwidth of the Internet connection may also not be sufficient to stream in UHD. Netflix requires at least 15 megabits per second (Mbit/s) for this. If the Internet speed is too low, Netflix will lower the resolution. This shouldn’t normally be a problem, but it can get tight with the slowest DSL tariffs from Vodafone or Telekom, for example, with 16 Mbit/s.

It is important that a stable 15 Mbit/s is available. If there are several users in a household with several devices on the Internet, this can no longer be the case. It also cannot be ruled out that the actual bandwidth does not correspond to that contractually guaranteed. Netflix offers its own website for testing. But you can also use an app for broadband measurement from the Federal Network Agency.

If you have the right subscription, a sufficiently fast and stable Internet connection and a UHD-capable TV set, the problem could be hidden in the Netflix settings. You won’t find it in the TV app. Instead, you have to log into Netflix in the PC browser and then go over your profile picture with the mouse arrow in the top right corner. In the menu that opens, click on Account.

As if Netflix didn’t want quality settings to be easy to find, they hide behind profiles and parental controls here. From there, click on your profile picture and scroll down to Playback Settings. According to Netflix, Automatic or High must be selected here. If you don’t trust the automatic, go for high.

If it is not necessary or if you really can see a clear difference, you should not increase the resolution. This is because the power consumption also increases with it. The Borderstep Institute has determined that one hour of video streaming in Full HD resolution requires a total of 220 to 370 watt hours of electrical energy. With 4K resolution, the consumption increases to up to 1300 watt hours.