How to get the best video quality

Make sure that you’re watching Netflix in the highest quality possible, whether it's HD, 4K Ultra HD, or with HDR.

You should get the best quality automatically, but if things don’t look as good as you expect, this article may help.

If you want to change the video quality of downloads, see How to change the video quality of a download.

Follow each of the steps below. If you make any changes, stop and check to see if it made a difference before moving on.

1. Check the Netflix video quality label

First, every Netflix TV show and movie has a details page with the title's description, maturity rating, and more. The page also has video quality labels showing the quality a title will play at on the device you're using.

Resolution (image detail)

4K: The highest resolution available on Netflix currently. Also called Ultra HD or 4K Ultra HD.

HD: Can be either full high definition (1080p) or high definition (720p).

Dynamic range (contrast & colorfulness)

  or (atmos)
Dolby Vision: A high dynamic range (HDR) system developed by Dolby Laboratories.

HDR: Another system for high dynamic range, also known as HDR10 or HDR10+.

On most TVs, Netflix will always show a resolution label, and if high definition is an option, it'll also show a label for the high-definition system the title will use to play on the TV.

On some TVs and other devices, you'll see only one video quality label even if more than one applies. If the title and device support high dynamic range, the label will show that one. For example, if a title plays in 4K and also supports Dolby Vision on a device, only the Dolby Vision label will show.

So look for 4K and HD labels to check resolution, and Dolby Vision and HDR labels to check high dynamic range. In step 5 below are titles to use to check each.

Some mobile devices may not always stream in HDR even if an HDR label appears, like if the device is in low power mode or using a cellular connection.

2. Check your plan

Check which plan you have and make sure it supports the quality you'd like.

If you’re watching on a device that can play at a better quality than your plan allows, we may invite you to upgrade your plan to take full advantage of your equipment.

3. Check your network

Netflix adapts to the speed of your internet connection to make sure you can keep watching. It may stream at a lower quality on slow or unstable internet connections.

Sometimes, titles will start at a lower resolution and then switch to a higher resolution after a short time.

Follow the steps below to check your device's internet speed.

TV or TV streaming device

  1. Open the Netflix app, then select a profile.

  2. On the Netflix home screen, go left to open the menu.

  3. At the bottom, select Get Help > Check your Network.

Make sure the speed shown on your device is at or above Netflix's internet speed recommendations for the resolution you'd like.

Android phone or tablet, iPhone, or iPad

  1. Open the Netflix app.

  2. In the lower right, tap My Netflix my netflix button.

  3. In the upper right, tap the Menu menu button.

  4. Tap App Settings app settings button.

  5. Scroll down and tap Internet Speed Test internet speed test button.

  6. Once the test is done, make sure the network speed meets Netflix's internet speed recommendations.

If you get an error message or the page doesn't load, it means your device isn't connected to the internet. You might need to troubleshoot your home network or your mobile device's connection to the internet.

Web browser

Using your browser, go to and wait for the test to finish.

Make sure the speed shown on your browser is at or above Netflix's internet speed recommendations for the resolution you'd like.

4. Check your devices

To get the best quality available for your plan, all the devices you're using have to support it. If you’re on the Premium plan and trying to watch on a TV with a streaming stick and an audio receiver, then all three devices have to support 4K to watch in 4K or HDR to watch in HDR.

  • You should also check that all devices are running the latest software or firmware and that their video resolution settings are equal to or greater than the quality you're aiming for.

  • Your video cables and the ports they're plugged into must also support your plan's quality. For the Premium plan, you need to use Premium High Speed HDMI or Ultra High Speed HDMI cables. (Not sure what type of cable you have? It's often printed on the cable or the cable ends.)

  • For 4K or HDR, make sure that devices and cables are plugged into an HDMI port that supports HDCP 2.2 or later (usually the HDMI 1 port).

  • If a device or cable in your setup doesn't meet all requirements for a particular quality, Netflix will play at the highest quality available for that device, port, or cable.

TVs and TV streaming devices

HDR can be turned on or off in the Netflix app on HDR-capable devices:

  1. Open the Netflix app, then choose a profile.

  2. On the Netflix home screen, go left to open the menu.

  3. At the bottom, select Get Help > Video.

  4. Choose HDR On or HDR Off.

  5. Resume watching Netflix.

Some devices may be set to HDR Off by default .

5. Check with the right titles

Most (but not all) Netflix titles are available in HD or 4K. Search for "HD" or "4K" to see lists of titles.

  • Reminder: The details page of a title shows the video and audio quality of the title as it’ll play on your device. A movie may be available in 4K, but if your device is only 1080p the details will show HD rather than 4K and the title will play at 1080p.  

  • Titles to test with:

6. Check your account settings

While there aren’t settings you can choose for resolution, there are some account settings that affect video quality. The default settings should be fine but you can double-check them to make sure they haven't been set to a lower quality. Go to Playback Settings in a web browser for the profile you want to watch with and make sure Data usage per screen is set for the target quality:

  • 4K: High or Auto

  • 1080P HD: High or Auto

  • 720p HD: Medium, High, or Auto

For networks with varying streaming speeds, using a setting other than Auto may force a particular speed – which may help with video quality. If that causes buffering or freezing, change the setting back to Auto.
Streaming in a higher video quality uses more data and may use more energy. See How to control how much data Netflix uses.

Watching on a computer or mobile device? You may need to check a few more things. See the article for your device for more information: Windows, Mac, Android phone/tablet, iPhone/iPad

If you've followed all of the steps and still aren't getting the video quality you think you should, contact your device manufacturer.

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