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Everything you need to watch Netflix Canada in Ultra HD

Don't go in blind. Here's what you need to stream Netflix in 4K.

Updated

DAREDEVIL

If you’ve signed up to Netflix Canada, you would have noticed the Ultra HD (UHD) option in its premium package. Ultra HD? Sounds awesome. Sign me up.

Unfortunately, there are a few obstacles between you and Ultra HD streaming, and some of them can be quite pricey. This is everything you’ll need to begin streaming Netflix Canada in Ultra HD.

Most importantly…

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 became all the rage, much like the curved screens and 3D TVs before them. Today, you can get 4K televisions from as low as $250, though better quality ones tend to sit around $1,000 and higher.

What else can my 4K TV do?

While streaming in 4K is the future, it’s not the only reason to purchase a 4K television. The latest consoles, like the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One S, allow you to play games in 4K (native for the PS4 Pro and upscaled for the Xbox One S).

Read more about Netflix prices and plans here.

Can your broadband handle it?

This will depend on where you live and the Internet provider you’re with. Ultra HD streaming requires a steady 25Mbps.

Service for some Canadians is spotty at best, while those living close to Internet towers tend to have faster and better speeds. However, many Canadians do not have speeds up to 25Mbps. You’ll need to search around for a provider offering faster Internet speeds (and hope that your house is in a good location). Some providers offer high-speed fixed broadband Internet with speeds of 100-1,000Mbps.

Alright, so you’ve hooked yourself up with a 4K TV and have a good internet connection, which means you’re kicking back enjoying 25/5 speeds. Before you get too comfortable, we need to talk about 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. If you watch 1.5 hours of Netflix every night, that’s 325.5GB per month. And who only watches 1.5 hours of Netflix a night? Taking into account 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? Roughly $120 per month.

Here are a few providers who offer high-speed Internet services in Canada:

  • Rogers
  • Shaw
  • Cogeco
  • Videotron
  • Bell
  • Telus
  • TekSavvy

Your TV must have HDCP 2.2

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 2.2 (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, and maybe 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 sees 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 Canada in full-blown UHD? 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 Canada in 4K

4K seems like a huge hurdle just for the clearest rendition of Kevin Spacey’s menacing mug available, but with 4K console gaming now in full swing, a 4K TV purchase is looking like a more sensible investment. Here’s what you will need to get set up:

  • A preferred 25/5Mbps NBN connection
  • A minimum data allowance of 500GB per month
  • A premium Netflix Canada membership ($13.99 with access to four screens)
  • A 4K smart TV with HDCP 2.2

How does Netflix compare?

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Price p/month or equivalent Free trial? Service Simultaneous streams 4K/UHD?
Disney+
Disney+ [CA]
CA$8.99
7 Days
On-demand streaming
4
Yes
Prime Video
Prime Video [CA]
CA$5.99
1 month
On-demand streaming
3
Yes
Residents of Quebec aren't eligible for a free trial of Amazon Prime
hayu
hayu [CA]
CA$5.99
30 days
On-demand streaming
1
No
Fubo TV Canadian Basic
Fubo TV [CA]
CA$15.99
7 days
On-demand streaming
2
Yes
fuboTV offers sports streaming for Canadians as well as Cloud DVR recording for live events and options for additional packages.
Curiositystream
CuriosityStream [CA]
US$2.99
No
On-demand streaming
Yes
Yes
YouTube Premium
YouTube Premium [CA]
CA$11.99
1 month
On-demand streaming
1
Select titles
Crave + Movies + HBO package
Crave + HBO [CA]
CA$19.98
1-month
On-demand streaming
2
No
Includes hit movies and current HBO seasons, as well as six live streaming channels (Crave 1, Crave 2, Crave 3, Crave 4, HBO Canada, HBO Canada 2)
Crave
Crave [CA]
CA$9.99
1-month
On-demand streaming
2
No
Gives you access to Crave originals, past seasons of HBO shows, Showtime series, and a limited number of Family and Kids titles.
Acorn TV
Acorn TV [CA]
US$4.99
7 days
On-demand streaming
1
No
Acorn TV offers British TV shows on-demand.
CBS All Access
CBS All Access [CA]
US$5.99
1-month
On-demand streaming
2
No
Shudder
Shudder [CA]
US$4.99
7 days
On-demand streaming
1
No
Shudder is a screaming service dedicated totally to contemporary and classic horror flicks.
Netflix Basic
Netflix Basic [CA]
CA$9.99
No
On-demand streaming
1
No
Netflix Standard
Netflix Standard [CA]
CA$13.99
No
On-demand streaming
2
No
Netflix Premium
Netflix Premium [CA]
CA$16.99
No
On-demand streaming
4
Yes
SundanceNow
Sundance Now [CA]
US$6.99
7 days
On-demand streaming
1
No
Club Illico
Club Illico [CA]
CA$9.99
No
On-demand streaming
1
No
Club Illico offers French TV shows and movies for a French-Canadian audience.
YouTube Premium Family Plan
YouTube Premium Family Plan [CA]
CA$17.99
1 month
On-demand streaming
6
Select titles
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