Over the previous 12 months, it’s typically appeared as if Microsoft and Netflix have finished every part they may probably do to forestall 4K streaming on PCs. Whereas 4K began rolling out on Netflix a number of years in the past, solely a handful of good TVs have been supported. The state of affairs has solely improved barely since then. Technically, you’ll be able to watch 4K Netflix from a PC now, however provided that you run Home windows 10, use Microsoft Edge, and have a seventh era Intel Kaby Lake CPU. An upcoming Nvidia driver goes to vary that state of affairs considerably, although there are nonetheless some important limitations on 4K streaming help.
In order for you 4K streaming at present, you may have to join the Home windows Insider program to get the Nvidia 381.74 driver. Nvidia’s site notes that No different GeForce driver will help this performance at the moment (emphasis authentic). The Nvidia web site contradicts itself on which GPUs are functionally supported. It states that prospects will need to have no less than a GTX 1050 with 3GB of RAM, however no less than in line with Newegg there aren’t any GeForce 1050s with greater than 2GB of RAM. Functionally, this implies you want no less than a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. Additionally, you’ll want a 25Mbps Web connection.
You probably have a number of screens hooked as much as your system, all the shows must be suitable with HDCP 2.2. In the event that they aren’t, you’ll both need to disconnect a show or shut it off to look at 4K UHD content material. In case your shows aren’t HDCP 2.2 suitable, the system will nonetheless stream however will default to 1080p, as proven within the desk under.
Lastly, SLI configurations usually are not supported. Should you run Pascal GPUs in an SLI configuration you’ll need to disable it for 4K (the monitor guidelines nonetheless apply).
That is… higher, marginally, however it’s a good distance from sturdy 4K streaming help. The potential is simply supported on Pascal GPUs, so these of you with older merchandise are out of luck. Nvidia’s cellular GeForce 10 GPUs are all based mostly on Pascal as a substitute of leveraging Maxwell-era rebrands, so no less than you realize you’ll be tremendous should you purchase considered one of these options, however 4K remains to be content-gated to an terrible small variety of techniques.
We noticed the same drawback when 1080p video was new, however it’s gotten worse now. Again then, you wanted an HDCP-compatible show, a comparatively high-end CPU (or a GPU with VC-1 / H.264 offload, which each AMD and Nvidia rolled out to all of their numerous merchandise inside pretty quick order) and both Home windows Vista or a third-party utility for Blu-ray / HD-DVD playback. Now, you want a whole chain of secured units in an effort to be allowed to look at video from a service you legally bought on a tool you legally personal. (It might be simpler to dismiss Richard Stallman as nothing however a crackpot if some of his predictions weren’t slowly tiptoeing in direction of actuality).
Nonetheless, this new Nvidia driver will enhance entry to 4K content material for customers that presently can’t watch it, and that’s factor. Hopefully AMD will observe with a driver of its personal within the not-too-distant future.