Over the past year, it’s often seemed as if Microsoft and Netflix have done everything they could possibly do to prevent 4K streaming on PCs. While 4K started rolling out on Netflix several years ago, only a handful of smart TVs were supported. The situation has only improved slightly since then. Technically, you can watch 4K Netflix from a PC now, but only if you run Windows 10, use Microsoft Edge, and have a seventh generation Intel Kaby Lake CPU. An upcoming Nvidia driver is going to change that situation somewhat, though there are still some significant limitations on 4K streaming support.
If you want 4K streaming today, you have to sign up for the Windows Insider program to get the Nvidia 381.74 driver. Nvidia’s site notes that No other GeForce driver will support this functionality at this time (emphasis original). The Nvidia site contradicts itself on which GPUs are functionally supported. It states that customers must have at least a GTX 1050 with 3GB of RAM, but at least according to Newegg there aren’t any GeForce 1050s with more than 2GB of RAM. Functionally, this means you need at least a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. Also, you’ll need a 25Mbps Internet connection.
If you have multiple monitors hooked up to your system, all of the displays need to be compatible with HDCP 2.2. If they aren’t, you’ll either have to disconnect a display or shut it off to watch 4K UHD content. If your displays aren’t HDCP 2.2 compatible, the system will still stream but will default to 1080p, as shown in the table below.
Finally, SLI configurations are not supported. If you run Pascal GPUs in an SLI configuration you’ll have to disable it for 4K (the monitor rules still apply).
This is… better, marginally, but it’s a long way from robust 4K streaming support. The capability is only supported on Pascal GPUs, so those of you with older products are out of luck. Nvidia’s mobile GeForce 10 GPUs are all based on Pascal instead of leveraging Maxwell-era rebrands, so at least you know you’ll be fine if you buy one of these solutions, but 4K is still content-gated to an awful small number of systems.
We saw a similar problem when 1080p video was new, but it’s gotten worse now. Back then, you needed an HDCP-compatible display, a relatively high-end CPU (or a GPU with VC-1 / H.264 offload, which both AMD and Nvidia rolled out to all of their various products within fairly short order) and either Windows Vista or a third-party utility for Blu-ray / HD-DVD playback. Now, you need an entire chain of secured devices in order to be allowed to watch video from a service you legally purchased on a device you legally own. (It would be easier to dismiss Richard Stallman as nothing but a crackpot if some of his predictions weren’t slowly tiptoeing towards reality).
Still, this new Nvidia driver will improve access to 4K content for users that currently can’t watch it, and that’s a good thing. Hopefully AMD will follow with a driver of its own in the not-too-distant future.
source : https://www.extremetech.com/computing/248637-upcoming-nvidia-driver-will-allow-netflix-4k-streaming-gpus