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.

Comments closed
    • jackbomb
    • 2 years ago

    Hey, this is great news! My ancient Ivy Bridge finally gets 4k streaming support.

    The Netflix app is the best way to watch if you’re using an HTPC. It seems to be the only way to bitstream 5.1 DD+ to a receiver. Edge just uses the 2.0 AAC stream which is a little lacking in deep bass.

    A little off topic, but why is Netflix on Chrome STILL limited to 720p? It looks ugly on a 1440p monitor at normal viewing distance. It also means that Win7 users don’t have a way to watch at 1080 on their PCs.

      • Waco
      • 2 years ago

      Because DRM insanity.

    • Convert
    • 2 years ago

    Black Mirror was terrible.

      • kvndoom
      • 2 years ago

      For the most part it was a watered down Twilight Zone wannabe. A few episodes were good. “San Junipero” and the one with the bees are the only ones I even have clear memories of watching. I think there was one more I really liked, but can’t recall ATM.

    • Takeshi7
    • 2 years ago

    It’s really stupid that you need at least 3GB VRAM to do this. So you basically have to spend $150 minimum on a graphics card to watch 4K netflix, or upgrade your CPU and possibly motherboard/RAM to Kaby Lake.

    Why didn’t Nvidia make this work on the $70 GT 1030?

      • synthtel2
      • 2 years ago

      Who keeps voting this guy down? That 1030 still has 2GB, and that’s a ton of VRAM. We just don’t think of it that way because the list of intermediate and source data games need to fit in there goes on for about a mile. A 4K RGBA8 framebuffer is 32MB. They shouldn’t need anything more than 32bpp here, right? I certainly can’t think of any reason they would. That’s 64 framebuffers in the 1030’s VRAM. You could buffer *multiple seconds* of raw output frames in that space. One way or another, something terribly stupid is going on with this requirement.

        • brucethemoose
        • 2 years ago

        They could be buffering the compressed stream in VRAM, as part of the legal requirements for the DRM scheme.

          • synthtel2
          • 2 years ago

          What’s the BW spec for 4K Netflix, 25 Mbit? So they could buffer 10 minutes of the compressed stream in 2GB. They’re probably buffering one side or the other for some reason related to those legal requirements, it just should have been obvious to whoever created the spec that this would be a problem, and I have a hard time believing they couldn’t have found a better way if they actually cared.

            • brucethemoose
            • 2 years ago

            I bet PCs an afterthought in the spec. When they created it, they were probably thinking of closed streaming boxes hooked up to (or in) TVs, as that’s what most people streaming 4K will be using.

            But yeah, I bet they’re buffering both sides. A few frames + a few minutes would eat up 1-2GB, and you still need to leave overhead for other stuff.

            • synthtel2
            • 2 years ago

            How many of those streaming boxes even have 3GB total RAM? I was under the impression a lot of them were basically phone hardware where 2GB is still common.

            Buffering the output side for more than a few frames (<200MB) is stupid (including for DRM, because that’s one more place it can be dumped from), and I really only mentioned it to put into perspective how much RAM we’re talking about. The miscellaneous stuff is tiny unless the DRM scheme is eating it all, in which case my complaint still applies. If the input stream is secure enough to send over the network, it’s secure enough to buffer in main RAM, not that 5 minutes isn’t a decent amount of buffer anyway.

            All I can think of to explain this is some kind of extra-weird inter-frame dependencies.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]All attached displays must be HDCP 2.2 compatible, and Jeff could only get the feature working over HDMI. [/quote<] The noise about what GPUs are compatible or not is trivial compared to that particular requirement since if you want to just use a TV for Netflix streaming you might as well get a cheap appliance to do it anyway.

      • LostCat
      • 2 years ago

      Or just do it on the TV eh? Do most smart TVs not do that or what? I think my new one does, but at 14mb I’m not planning on streaming 4K.

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