If you experience a lot of lag, choppiness, blur, or washed out video, you are not getting the best Netflix resolution. If you have an HD television, these imperfections are even more noticeable. The reason for lower quality could be your Internet Service Provider (ISP), what kind of internet you have (satellite, DSL, etc.), or how many people are using the internet at once. Sometimes, it is just because Netflix is overloaded and has nothing to do with your connection. None of these things should stop you from getting the best Netflix resolution though.
How to Get the Best Netflix Resolution on Your TV
Netflix Plan and Playback Settings
Before changing anything, you should make sure that your Netflix is set to play video at the highest resolution. The first thing to check is your plan. Sign into your account, go to your account settings, and click on “Change plan”. Make sure that you are at least paying for “2 Screens + HD” if you want to get the HD Netflix experience. Next, go back to your account settings and click on “Playback settings”. Here, make sure that you have the playback set to high. Having it set to low or medium will not produce the best Netflix resolution. Having it set to auto runs the same risk depending on your connection.
The next step is to check your speed using fast.com. This is Netflix’s own speed test, so it is the surest way to know how fast your internet is when using Netflix. You need at least a 5 Mbps connection to stream HD. However, keep in mind that Netflix will likely not be the only device using the internet, so having a higher speed is always better. If your connection is lower than 5 Mbps, you can try using a wired connection by connecting your TV to your modem with an Ethernet cable. If that does not help, you can still get HD — you just need to pre-load it.
Are you playing Netflix through an application on your TV, or through a laptop, gaming console or satellite receiver connected to your TV? Not every device supports full HD. For example, the Wii console is only able to output 480p (this is high definition, but if your TV is 1080p, you will notice the difference). One sure way to know whether or not a device is capable of outputting full HD is by checking what cable is being used to connect it to the TV. If it is an HDMI or composite cables, you should be getting a decent picture. If you are using a laptop or a computer to play Netflix, make sure you are using Microsoft Edge to get the best results (Firefox, Chrome and Opera play Netflix at lower resolutions).
Pre-load HD Netflix
Even if your internet connection is too slow, you are still not out of luck. You can pre-load HD Netflix content by using NightShift. WIth images and descriptions of titles, it has an interface similar to other video on demand services. You can search Netflix’s entire database and easily pre-load what you want to watch. Plus, you are able to stream HD to up 3 devices at a time! Just remember to use the tips above to make sure you get full HD every time.