If you’ve splurged on a new 4K monitor because you want to play games in all their glory at 3840 x 2160 and want to watch 4K content as well that might be a little limited. According to a report by Tom’s Hardware Netflix 4K streaming has some hefty requirements.
You’ll need an Intel 7th Generation Core “Kaby Lake” processor (or possibly AMD’s “Zen” processor), Windows 10, and the Microsoft Edge browser to get 4K streaming to work correctly on your PC. These requirements are likely because of two reasons. First is HEVC CODEC hardware acceleration. Streaming 4K content in their current H.264 format could quadruple bandwidth consumption over Full HD. HEVC encoding allows Netflix to minimize bitrate considerably. The second reason is DRM, on a hardware level. For Netflix’s DRM component to access the CPU’s hardware DRM features it needs Windows 10, older versions of the operation system will not work. If these requirements are not met, Netflix will just play your content in plain Full HD.