The walls of the Intel monopoly on Netflix Ultra HD content streaming for PC have finally been broken, as Nvidia just announced over the weekend that owners of a majority of its Geforce GTX 10 series Pascal cards will now be able to access Netflix streaming Ultra HD content through a new driver exclusively provided via the Microsoft Windows Insider Program.
In order to enable Netflix Ultra HD playback, users will need a desktop or notebook Nvidia Pascal-based GPU, including the Geforce GTX 1050 or greater with a minimum of 3GB of memory (Note: early reports say the GTX 1050 doesn’t work for now, so a GTX 1060 or higher will do). They will also need an HDCP 2.2 capable monitor, an approximately 25Mbps or faster Internet connection, and access to either the Microsoft Edge web browser or the Netflix app in the Windows Store.
Geforce driver 381.74 is being provided exclusively through the Windows Insider website, so interested individuals will need to create an account and sign up through Microsoft’s dedicated page. No other Geforce driver will support 4K Netflix functionality at this time.
For users with multi-monitor setups configured through a single GPU, Nvidia says that Netflix 4K streaming will only work if all connected panels are HDCP 2.2 compatible – otherwise, the content on each panel will be downgraded to Full HD quality.
Netflix 4K on AMD: Radeon Polaris series needs PlayReady 3.0 support
Netflix originally introduced 4K streaming support for PCs in November 2016 for Intel’s Kaby Lake processors, due to their support for both PlayReady 3.0 DRM and hardware-accelerated 10-bit 4K HEVC decoding. Nvidia’s Pascal series has supported both since its introduction last May, while AMD’s Radeon Polaris series lineups support 10-bit HEVC decoding but is not included in Microsoft’s PlayReady 3.0 compatibility list just yet.