Netflix is the most popular online streaming service and now it is available in more countries than ever before including India. It’s also much cheaper than several digital set-top box / cable services available. But what I found in the last few weeks is that the streaming quality of Netflix in India was no way closer to full HD or 1080p. Netflix says that the quality of the transmission depends on several factors including the bandwidth available on the customer’s end, the player used to playback the video streams and also the browser used.
The last piece caught my attention as to how the browser could play a difference in the stream quality being 720p rather than 1080p.
A closer look at the Netflix’s Help page suggests that HD resolutions are available only when the customer’s internet connection is atleast 5 Megabits per second or more. Also, it states on the limitation of HTML5 player being used that could limit the resolution and proprietary technologies like Silverlight don’t have this restriction. So that boils down to the fact that Netflix can be enjoyed in 1080p resolution only on Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge browser’s on Windows systems while on Safari in a Mac. On the other hand Chrome, Firefox and Opera support only the 720p quality of Netflix stream.
Also, check if you have a subscription for HD. Usually the basic plan’s don’t have HD subscription in which case you will need to bump up your subscription.
Finally, head over to your Netflix account and check if your player setting is set in ‘High’. To do that, follow the easy steps below:
- Head over to https://www.netflix.com/YourAccount on your browser.
- Hit on “My Profile” and click on the “Playback Settings”.
- You will find that it is set at “Auto”, which you can change to “High” as shown below that will force every video to be bumped up for HD playback.
Do keep in mind that playing every stream in 1080p on Netflix will consume a lot of bandwidth than the ‘auto’ setting as in ‘auto’ many times the quality is brought down based on the network congestion or the device used for playback.
You can also check the bitrate of the video playback of Netflix by clicking the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Alt S while the video is streaming within the HTML5 player.