Places like YouTube make it easy to see what resolution of video you’re watching, but when you watch Netflix, it can be a bit of a mystery.
Is the episode you’re watching really in full HD (1080p)?
Depending on how big your screen is, even a video quality snob can get fooled by a 720p resolution that seems like it could be full HD. It’s like a fine wine, or great headphones — at a certain point can you even tell? OK, we believe you, you can, but sometimes it can be tricky.
But one thing we know for sure is that if you were watching Netflix on Chrome or Firefox, you definitely weren’t getting 1080p video, because it isn’t possible.
As BGR first pointed out, this support page from Netflix’s own site shows that depending on what browser you use, you won’t get to stream in full HD:
Resolution: Stream in HD if your Internet connection supports 5 megabits per second or more.
- Google Chrome up to 720p
- Internet Explorer up to 1080p
- Microsoft Edge up to 1080p
- Mozilla Firefox up to 720p
- Opera up to 720p
- Safari up to 1080p on Mac OS X 10.10.3 or later
Now, if you are watching Netflix on most laptops, there won’t be much of a difference between 720p and 1080p. But if you have a big slick monitor, or have connected your laptop to your TV, you won’t be getting the crisp video you could have been.
Luckily, there’s other web browsers out there that do support full HD streaming on Netflix, so you can always just use one of them instead.