We all want the best possible picture quality when we watch Netflix, this is even more important because you have to pay for better quality. Let’s see how to get it.
No one wants to watch videos with too many pixels. And even less if you pay to see them. But this is something that can happen with Netflix. In this case, there’s even more reason to demand perfection, since you have to pay for a more expensive account to get the best video quality (4K).
In this situation, you can either let it go and trust that everything will work as expected on its own, or, as we’ll explain in this video, you can make some changes and checks to make sure that Netflix always gives you the best video quality possible.
Obviously, if you want to watch Netflix in HD or Ultra HD 4K, you’ll need a TV that can handle those resolutions. Or, if not, a smartphone or computer.
Second, your connection to the internet should be good enough. Netflix says that you need at least 15 Mbps to watch Ultra HD 4K content, 5 Mbps to watch FHD (1080p), and 3 Mbps to watch 720p.
More from us: Date set for ad-supported Netflix
It’s also important to remember that you need a Netflix Standard account to watch HD videos (the intermediate mode). Instead, you would need a Netflix Premium account to watch content in UHD 4K. (the most expensive). This latest version also makes it possible for HDR content and Dolby Atmos sound to be used. However, you will need compatible equipment to use these features.
How to get Netflix to play high-quality video
We’ve already checked that we have a device that can play Netflix in HD and/or UHD 4K. Moreover, we know that our internet connection has enough bandwidth. Now, all we have to do is ask Netflix to do what it needs to do.
By default, Netflix changes the quality of the video to match the speed or bandwidth available. The same thing happens on YouTube and other places where you can watch videos. Video quality is often put second to making sure playback doesn’t stop.
The problem is that sometimes we might not mind pausing the playback for a short time so that the content can load in the best quality possible. Or, the system doesn’t work the way it should. Even though it can stream at a higher quality, it stays “anchored” at a lower resolution.
There is a way to fix this, though. We’ll have to go to Netflix, either through its official app for phones and/or tablets or through its website. If you make the change on one device, it will affect all the other devices that use your user account.
Netflix profiles can adjust video quality
We go to Netflix on the web, click on our profile, click on Account, and then scroll down to our profile, which is shown by our avatar. If we click on the drop-down menu on the right, we’ll see a list of choices. Playback Settings is the one we’re interested in. Tap Change .
Use of data per screen will be an option in the new window. We can see that Automatic is the default setting. That is, the quality of the video will change depending on how much bandwidth is available. Or to the best resolution that the screen can handle. Or, for mobile devices, to the data that is available. If we want the best video quality for each Netflix video, we have to mark the “High” option and then click on “Save.”
Careful with your phone’s data
You don’t have to keep reading if you just want to know how to watch Netflix on your TV, computer, or video game console. But things change if you want to watch Netflix on your phone or tablet in the best quality. Here, another factor comes into play: the amount of mobile data that is available. That is, the more data you use, the better the video quality. So, if you use 4G or 5G on your phone to stream Netflix and choose the best quality, your data will be affected. Unless you have a plan with unlimited data.
Netflix provides some valuable data:
- With low video and audio quality (Low), 0.3 GB is used per hour.
- In standard quality and SD resolution, 0.7 GB are used per hour.
- HD video can use up to 3 GB of space every hour.
- If you choose Ultra HD 4K resolution, that number goes up to 7 GB per hour of video.
- One way to make sure you don’t run out of mobile data is to download the content ahead of time. This option doesn’t work with all of Netflix’s content. But it will be very helpful if you’re traveling or in a place without Wi-Fi and want to watch a TV show or movie in the best quality Netflix has to offer. When you look at a TV show or movie in the catalog, the page about it will have a download icon.
Then, to play that content when you’re not connected to the internet, you’ll need to open the app and tap Downloads or My Downloads. Please keep in mind that downloads are tied to the device, but you can view them from any account. Once you’ve seen that content, you can delete it by clicking Edit > Delete.