When it comes to watching movies and TV shows, you most likely want to watch them in the best resolution possible. Here’s the best way to stream Netflix on your computer.
Most displays nowadays are able to put out a resolution of 1080p (1920×1080), but it turns out that you may not be having the best Netflix experience possible, as Google Chrome doesn’t actually support full 1080p resolution when watching content on Netflix.
This may come as a shock to you, but one Redditor discovered that Netflix in Google Chrome only streams in 720p (1280×720), which isn’t terrible by any means, but if you’re streaming a video that has a lower resolution than what your screen can put out, the quality is going to be sub-optimal.
Perhaps you’re okay with this, as many users simply don’t care about getting the best quality — as long as they can simply watch their movies and TV shows, but there are some users out there who want to get the best quality possible out of their video content, and that’s completely okay too.
So if Google Chrome only supports 720p in Netflix, how are you supposed to get 1080p streaming quality on your computer? Here’s the best way to stream Netflix.
The Secret to High-Quality Netflix Streaming
Plain and simple, the best way to stream Netflix is not by using Google Chrome, but rather Internet Explorer or Safari. If you’re on Mac, use Safari, and if you’re on a Windows machine, you can use Internet Explorer or Safari.
Of course, you can’t just fire up Internet Explorer or Safari and just instantly get 1080p quality, as there are a couple of settings that you’ll need to mess with first.
First off, you’ll need to go up to your profile in the top-right corner and click on Your Account in the drop-down menu. From there, click on Playback Settings and then select High. Save the changes and then start a TV show or movie. Once in the video player, click on the HD icon and place a checkmark next to Allow HD. You’re good to go!
If you’re running Windows 8, the Netflix app in the Windows Store will play in 1080p, so need to worry about having to use the browser to stream your Netflix.
Again, if you’re watching Netflix on a laptop, streaming in 1080p probably won’t make a huge difference, unless you know that your screen has a 1080p resolution. However, if you usually plug your laptop into a television to watch Netflix shows and movies, this little trick can make all the difference with streaming quality.
Another thing to be aware of is your internet connection. If you have a slow DSL connection, streaming in 1080p might not be the best choice, as it uses more bandwidth. Or if you have a data cap with your internet, then it might not be a good idea to stream 1080p either, as it can use up as much as 3GB per hour. So if you have a 300GB monthly cap, that means 100 hours of Netflix would reach that cap (roughly 3.3 hours per day), and that’s without any other downloading that you do.
Other Netflix Tips
Of course, this isn’t the only Netflix secret out there. There are a ton of other Netflix tips and tricks that you should know about, some of which are pretty awesome.
For instance, if you live in a country where Netflix isn’t available, you can use certain tools to stream Netflix in restricted areas.
You can also share your Netflix password with friends and family and even create different profiles for each user, that way their queue and their recently-watched content doesn’t affect your own profile.
You can also use your smartphone as a remote on the PS3, PS4, and the Chromecast. It’s not a super-handy trick by any means, but it beats having to use the PlayStation controller to control Netflix playback.
There are also a handful of extensions that you can install that enhance Netflix, like adding IMDb ratings, and easily checking to see which movies and TV shows will be gone soon so that you can hurry up and watch them before they disappear.