How to Adjust Video Quality on Netflix

For fans of movies, TV shows and documentaries, there’s no substitute for Netflix. Netflix started as an online DVD rental service that helped usher in the age of streaming entertainment. As the war between media companies continues to heat up, the company remains the must-have streaming app for most people.

One of the ways Netflix has helped change the way people consume media is by making it easier to watch higher-quality video. HD video has been the standard since the mid-2000s, but with 4K and Ultra HD content, our favorite shows and movies will only get sharper.

understand your options

The concept of HD broadcast and footage comes from the resolution of the video you are watching. The higher the resolution, the better the video quality, allowing you to see more detail in every shot. SD footage is typically displayed at 480p or 640 x 480 resolution. The first set of numbers measures horizontal pixels, and the next set of numbers describes vertical pixels. At 720p, the video defaults to widescreen with a resolution of 1280 x 720p.

4K resolution is a marked improvement over 1080p. This is the first real advancement in home television in fifteen years. If you’re willing to spend money to upgrade your content, you really can have an incredible theater-like experience in your own home.

As you can imagine, Netflix, the world’s leading streaming service, takes video resolution very seriously. They offer a range of options from SD streams all the way up to higher resolution UHD streams, making it easy to watch videos in the resolution you want most.

Unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t advertise these resolution changes in their settings very well. For example, unlike YouTube, there is no option in the video player to easily choose the video resolution. You can do a lot of under-hyped things with Netflix.


If you want to control your settings, you’re not out of luck. Netflix does offer some level of control in the settings panel of the menu, but it might not be immediately apparent when looking around. If you want to control the quality of your stream – as high as possible or as low as possible for limited data services – you can. Here’s how to change the quality of Netflix videos.

Netflix on PC, Smart TV, or Set-Top Box

While streaming Netflix on laptops has become a staple for college students and overall younger users, it’s still very popular on set-top boxes and smart TVs.

Load Netflix on your computer’s browser and select your profile. Streaming options will be synced separately to your profile as they are located under profile options in settings. So make sure you select (or switch to) the correct profile before you begin.

In your account settings, you can view your payment options, your Netflix email address, modify your plan and payments, and more.

To modify your playback options:

  1. Once logged in to the appropriate profile, click the icon in the upper right corner.profile icon 1
  2. click account from the drop-down account
  3. scroll down to Profile and Parental Controls part.parental controls 1
  4. Click on the profile whose settings you want to change.Select image
  5. position playback settings then click Change It’s on the far right.playbacksettings
  6. Choose your preferred option and click save.Choose set
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There’s an option to enable or disable autoplay in Netflix; the main part of the display is the option to control the playback resolution of your favorite Netflix originals and movies.

By default, Netflix sets this to automatic on each profile, which means the video will automatically switch based on the quality of your internet device. If you can’t support a fast enough connection to play HD video, Netflix will automatically lower your resolution. For most people, this is a solid compromise, showing HD quality most of the time and ensuring you can watch Netflix’s content library in standard definition on slower internet connections.

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For those who wish to maintain the highest possible video quality at all times, select High option. This streams in 720p/1080p or 4K UHD, depending on your plan, and consumes a lot of data per hour (3 GB per hour for 1080p video streaming, 7 GB per hour for 4K video streaming).

If you want to save on data usage, you should consider lowering the streaming quality. The Medium option streams at “Standard” video quality, which we estimate is around 480p, and only consumes around 700MB per hour.

We don’t recommend switching to Low as it’s a major quality loss (as low as 240p on the slowest connection), but it’s worth considering if you really need to save as much data as possible. Low-quality streaming only costs about 300MB per hour.

notes Changing these options on the web will only affect your computer or TV-based streaming; it won’t change your streaming on your mobile device. To do this, you have to change the settings on your phone or tablet.

Again, it’s worth noting that these options only affect your profile.If you want to save data for Every profile on your account, you have to manually change it for each account one by one.

upgrade to 4K

While Netflix supports HD playback on all accounts, you can’t stream in 4K with the most basic plan Netflix offers. Although nearly every Netflix Original is shot and streamed in 4K, and many movies have the option to stream in 4K as well, you’ll need to upgrade your Netflix account to actually stream the higher resolution files .

To upgrade your account, go back to account options and find Program Details Options in the middle of the page.then click change plan. You can find your streaming plan and DVD plan options here.

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For example, if you’re on a standard streaming plan, you’ll see a small HD icon next to your plan, but you won’t see a 4K option. This means you can only stream content in HD, not 4K Ultra HD.choose change plan From this option open a menu to choose your plan. As of October 2021, Netflix is ​​currently offering three different tiers:

  • Basic: Allows SD streaming on one monitor for $9.99 per month.
  • Standard: The most popular plan, allows 1080p streaming and two simultaneous streams. The plan currently runs you $15.49 per month.
  • Premium: Includes support for Ultra HD and the ability to stream on four displays simultaneously for $19.99 per month.
Netflix pricing

If you’re looking for the best Netflix has to offer, you’ll pay $19.99 per month. It’s expensive, but that’s exactly what Netflix is ​​asking for when it comes to high-res streaming. Alternatively, staying on the 1080p plan will indeed save you $54 a year, and if you don’t have a 4K monitor, you might as well keep that change in your pocket.

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Netflix on your smartphone

OK, you’ve changed options on your desktop and streaming box, so your picture is crisp and clear. Meanwhile, you’re facing an entirely different problem on your smartphone: data caps.

Even the unlimited plans offered through US carriers have a “soft” cap that caps your data speeds after a certain amount of mobile streaming. If you’re looking to get the most out of your data — or you’re looking to change the way your phone downloads Netflix content for offline playback — we’ve got guides for that, too. Let’s take a closer look at each option.

streaming options

Open the app on your Android or iOS device and look for the menu bar at the bottom of the screen. On the far right of the display, you’ll see more options. Click this and look for Application Settings at the bottom of the list; click on that option. App settings allow you to choose exactly what you want within the app, and the first available option is probably the one most people are looking for: video resolution playback.

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The options here are very different from what Netflix usually offers. Unlike the standard selection of streaming options, Netflix on mobile platforms is focused on changing how devices play around data.

When you select a video playback option, you’ll see a button labeled cellular data usage. By default, this option is set to Enable Automatic. If you wish, you can change this by simply turning off the selection, then selecting one of the three options from the list below:

  • Wi-Fi Only: Completely stops the ability to stream on mobile networks.
  • Save Data: Reduces the quality of the stream to save data in the process.
  • Maximum Data: The maximum video quality allowed by your streaming service provider.
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The reason this option doesn’t allow you to change the actual video quality of the stream on mobile is due to those same unlimited plans we mentioned above. Every carrier in the US is now throttling video streaming on its network, which means you’ll need to deal with streaming restrictions while you’re on the move.

As far as we know, no mobile service provider allows streaming over 1080p on their network; many limit it to only 480p or 720p video streaming, depending on the carrier and plan. You’ll need to check with your carrier and your specific plan to see if this is caused by something to do with your own network, and if you can upgrade your plan for better quality.

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download options

The list of options on mobile devices not only includes the ability to change streaming playback options, but also the ability to change the quality of downloads saved on the device.

  1. Sign in to the Netflix app and select your profile.
    choose icon
  2. Find the three horizontal lines in the lower right corner and click on them.locate 3 icon
  3. tap application settings.
    locate app set
  4. tap Cellular Data.
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  5. Switch between one of four suitable download options.
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Unlike streaming options, the reason you might want to change your download options on Netflix really comes down to the ability to save space on your device. If you’re planning a plane trip or an extended vacation, you’ll want to make the most of the possibly limited storage space on your phone.

You can select the quality level of the content by selecting two options in the Application Settings menu:

  • Standard: Downloads in standard definition. If you’re watching videos on your phone, you’re probably fine with this option. Since the monitor you’re looking at is no larger than 6 inches, the difference in quality is negligible at best. However, for those watching on an iPad or other tablet, you may find this level of quality a bit disappointing.
  • High: This setting uses more storage space and takes longer to download, but looks better on your monitor. The resolution is about 720p or higher, although it may not look as sharp as the standard resolution downloaded from iTunes or other online marketplaces.
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Ultimately, you’re better off leaving your phone in standard mode and your tablet in advanced mode. These options are the best way to maximize your experience while streaming.

frequently asked questions

We’ve included answers to the most frequently asked questions in this section.

My video quality is distorted. what happened?

If you’ve changed or updated your Netflix playback settings and the video quality is still poor, you may be experiencing data connection issues. To run Netflix, you need at least 5mbps. We recommend running a speed test to see how fast your internet connection is. Even an intermittent connection can cause playback quality issues.

Another thing you can try is to switch between cellular data and Wi-Fi if you can. If the problem persists despite you being connected to the internet, you can contact Netflix’s support team and try updating the app or restarting your device.

What internet speed do I need to run 4K content?

Netflix has various recommendations for streaming quality. Users looking to upgrade their plan to be able to stream in 4K will need a stable internet connection of at least 25mbps. As mentioned earlier, you can run a speed test to check your internet connection.

Also, verify that your device is 4K compatible before upgrading your plan. Keep in mind that some Netflix titles (usually your old shows and movies) cannot be streamed in 4K.

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