Sure, Ultra HD Netflix sounds great, but what is it exactly? And how can you access it?
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If you’ve signed up to Netflix Australia, you would have noticed the Ultra HD (UHD) option in their premium package. Ultra HD? Sounds awesome. Sign me up. But, wait. There are many obstacles between you and Ultra HD streaming, and some of them are quite pricy. This is everything you’ll need to begin streaming Netflix Australia in Ultra HD.
A 4K television. It might be obvious to some, but yes, you are going to need a 4K ready television to make the most of the premium Netflix package. In 2015, 4K televisions have become all the rage, much like the curved screens and 3D TVs before them. Today, you can get 4K televisions from as low as $539 (42 inch Agora 4K Smart LED TV from Kogan), though anything of higher quality is likely to hurt your wallet.
42" Agora 4K Smart LED TV (Ultra HD) from Kogan
Be amazed by the rich detail, sharp lines and brilliant colours of a 4K quality TV.View details
Can your broadband handle it?
To be honest, probably not. Ultra HD streaming requires very fast connection speeds. How fast, exactly? A steady 25Mbps. The problem is, most Australians would scoff at a 25Mbps connection, because 25Mbps is the absolute maximum speed ADSL2+ can reach. So, unless you live a stone’s throw away from the exchange (and your WiFi is running nothing but Ultra HD Netflix) you’re pretty much out of luck. Unless…
Unless you’re one of the lucky few who already have NBN installed at their address. If you are hooked up to NBN, then you should have absolutely no problem streaming Ultra HD Netflix. And, if you don’t have NBN, then what are you waiting for? Check out finder.com.au’s complete list of rental properties available with access to NBN.
Alright, so you’ve moved in to a rental property with NBN and you’re kicking back enjoying those sweet, sweet fibre-to-the-node speeds. Before you get too comfortable, there’s one more thing we need to cover, data usage. How much data does your Internet Service Provider (ISP) give you every month? Because if you’re streaming Ultra HD Netflix, it better be a lot.
Ultra HD Netflix streaming uses an estimated 7GB per hour. That is massive. Imagine you watch 1.5 hours of Netflix every night. That’s 325.5GB per month. Taking into account other data usage for general browsing and other downloads, you’re going to want a minimum of 500GB per month. How much is that going to cost you?
- Telstra Broadband 500GB ADSL/NBN Monthly $113 per month
- Optus Unlimited Entertainment Bundle $90 per month
- iiNet Home-3 600GB Broadband $69.95
To put it simply, don’t jump into buying a 4K Smart TV simply for Netflix. There are many reasons you might want to purchase a 4K TV, but Netflix may not its biggest draw. Although 4K Netflix Australia streaming sounds amazing, only a select range of shows are actually capable of streaming in UHD, and if you’re broadband doesn’t meet the above requirements, then you’re going to end up shelling more money out for excess data usage and slowing down your home broadband connection.
There’s one more thing to consider when signing up to Netflix Australia’s premium package. Will your television or monitor support it?
Your TV must have HDCP
If you’ve got either a 5K iMac, or a 4K PC monitor, you could be thinking ‘why would I need a Smart TV?’ Well, if you really want to watch Netflix in UHD, you may still have to fork out the extra cash for a 4K enabled Smart TV. This is because not all 4K devices have High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).
HDCP protects digital copyrighted content as it streams from the Netflix servers to your TV. The reason Netflix restricts the usage of 4K content on PCs and Macs is simple, even a little bit petty.
Because PCs and Macs can be used to record, edit and potentially distribute streamed media, they are restricted from streaming in 4K. Netflix see it as an insecure platform from their end, one that they don’t want to share their carefully controlled content with.
So, how can you watch Netflix Australia in full-blown UHD? Unfortunately, only with the brands listed below:
- LG TV, Blu-ray player or set-top box
- Panasonic TV or Blu-ray player
- Samsung TV or Blu-ray player
- Sharp TV or Blu-ray player
- Sony TV or Blu-ray player
- Vizio TV or Blu-ray player
- Toshiba TV or Blu-ray player
Our verdict - What you need to stream Netflix Australia in 4K
With so many obstacles between the customer and 4K Netflix streaming, it’s likely that most are going to settle for standard or high-definition. But, if you are really desperate for the most crisp rendition of Kevin Spacey’s menacing mug, this is everything you’re going to need:
- A minimum broadband speed of 25Mbps (this is the maximum for Australian ADSL customers)
- A minimum data allowance of 500GB per month
- A premium Netflix Australia membership, valued at $14.99 a month (likely to hit $16.50 with the Netflix Tax)
- A 4K Smart TV with HDCP