There are only two browsers you can watch Netflix with in 1080p, and that shows the nonsense of watching streaming content today.
Netflix promises not only access to a wide variety of series and movies, but also more than acceptable video quality. In fact, personally that is a great point in favor of unofficial streaming sites, where they reproduce pirated copies.
Netfix itself boasts of it, even offering 4K videos in some series and if we have the necessary connection to download so much data. However, when it comes down to it, chances are good that you only watch Netflix at 720p.
How to know what resolution Netflix is going to
Netflix’s own help page warns us: the only browsers with which we can get streaming up to 1080p are Internet Explorer and Edge UPDATED: on Mac we can also use Safari. Yes, it sounds cruel that we have to opt for Microsoft browsers if we want the best video quality, especially if we do not use a Windows compatible with Edge. No matter how you look at it, this is a great victory for Microsoft, and considering that it does not have many, it is not surprising that it rejoices in them.
Is it really true that only IE and Edge can show content at 1080p, and it shows? The good thing is that you can check it yourself; In my case, I opened my Netflix account and loaded the first Marco Polo chapter to check it.
To see the resolution that the streaming is taking, along with other technical data, we just have to start the video in question and press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + D. We will see a whole look of information, but the one that interests us right now is the resolution.
As you see, in Chrome the maximum resolution was 1280720, even when I put the video in full screen on my 1080p screen.
For its part, the same video in Microsoft Edge reached 19201080 pixels immediately after putting the video in full screen. And the best thing is that the quality shows; Obviously, in older productions it is not very noticeable, but in modern series and films the increase in resolution is a delight for the eyes, and in the case of Marco Polo it was quite noticeable.
Also, you can force bitrate to always make it look better. Normally Netflix offers a variety of bitrates that vary depending on the quality of the connection, but if we have a fiber connection, for example, we are interested in keeping it in the best quality. just press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S, and a menu will open in which we can select the bitrate that we want to load (we can select more than one)
Why only IE and Edge can play Netflix at 1080p
But how does Edge (and IE) manage to deliver superior quality on Netflix? Well, it’s not very clear. According to Microsoft, it is because Edge offers hardware acceleration (which other browsers also have) and DRM (copy) technologies such as PlayReady Content Protection and Protected Media Path. If you look at my Edge screenshots, the screen is black, while the Chrome screen shows the series playing in the background; that’s the anti-copy system in action.
Pending an official statement from Netflix, we have to say that this is probably why Edge has an advantage. Not because it is better, but because Netflix decides to favor this browser over others thanks to its copy protection.
Recall that Netflix’s agreements with copyright owners are very complex, and will likely include clauses that force Netflix to ensure some copy protection in the best quality. The ultimate goal is for high resolution content not to be hacked as easily. Mind you, there may be another technical reason, but the most likely is that.
So if you want the best quality on Netflix, you know, it’s time to dust Edge or Internet Explorer.