Nvidia 384.76 drivers quietly enable UHD Netflix on Pascal

We have already written about Nvidia's GeForce Game Ready driver version 384.76 twice: once regarding its compatibility with the Lawbreakers beta and Spider-Man: Homecoming VR, and again when users discovered the undocumented addition of DX12 support on older Fermi graphics cards. Turns out there was even more going on in that release that Nvidia didn't tell anyone about. Reddit users are reporting that the new driver enables Netflix 4K streaming on non-Insider Windows 10 PCs with Pascal graphics cards regardless of whether they have Intel Kaby Lake CPUs, and we've confirmed it on our own PCs.

Our Haswell test system, showing the Netflix UWP app from the Windows Store. Note the Ultra HD 4K tag absent from incompatible systems

Support for 4K Netflix streaming on Nvidia Pascal graphics cards has been in the works for some time. We reported at the beginning of May about a driver available exclusively through the Windows Insider program that enabled UHD streaming support. When it was announced in early May, the feature required a Pascal graphics card with at least 3 GB of memory, leaving GeForce GT 1030 and some GeForce GTX 1050 owners out in the cold. Nvidia has released no official information about Netflix 4K streaming with the 384.76 driver, so we can only speculate that this requirement still exists.

If you'd like to try this feature for yourself, our own Jeff Kampman was able to get UHD Netflix working on a Haswell system with Windows 10 build 15063.413 and a Pascal GeForce GTX 1080 Ti installed, and he has some further tips. All attached displays must be HDCP 2.2 compatible, and Jeff could only get the feature working over HDMI. On top of that, UHD streaming only appears to work in the Netflix UWP app and the Edge browser. If you can meet those requirements with your Pascal system, it seems a Kaby Lake CPU and its IGP will no longer be requirements for enjoying glorious 4K content from Netflix—at least for now.

Netflix confirming it's sending 4K to Edge on our Haswell system with a GTX 1080 Ti

Not everything in 384.76 was bonus features, cherries, and whipped cream, though. The driver also brought along a bug that caused Watch Dogs 2 to crash on startup. Nvidia has already released the 384.80 hotfix driver to correct the problem. The GeForce drivers page still offers up the buggy 384.76 release at the time this was written, but the newest version is available on Nvidia's customer service webpage. Four versions are available covering 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. The GeForce Game Ready 384.76 driver release notes are available here if you're not already up to speed.

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