Netflix is finally available in 4K on the PC, but only if you’re running a machine that is powered by Intel’s latest seventh-gen Kaby Lake CPU. You’ll also need a 4K screen, and should subscribe to Netflix’s 4K plan. Finally, 4K streaming is limited to Microsoft Edge, so if you want to stream glorious 4K content on your PC, you’ll have to resort to using Microsoft’s browser.
The Kaby Lake CPUs offer a hardware decoder for 10-bit HEVC, the 4K codec used by Netflix and other streaming services. That’s the main reason for limiting 4K playback to the latest Intel CPUs. Nvidia’s GTX 10 series video cards also have 10-bit HEVC decode, but they’re not listed as being compatible.
The other drawback with 4K on Windows is the issue of piracy, which is why you’ll only be able to stream on Edge. Microsoft’s browser is the only one to offer PlayReady 3.0 DRM, a hardware-based digital rights management system that prevents on-screen video from being captured via software or through an external capture card.
Given all the challenges in getting 4K to work on the PC, it’s easier to just buy a 4K dongle and stream Netflix using that.