Having trouble playing Netflix through HDMI?
Such a mood killer, right?
But don’t you worry, there are a couple of tricks that you can try to get that fixed.
Spoiler alert: you need to take a long, hard look at your HDMI cable.
Read on to find out:
- Whether your Internet speed matters.
- How to fix the issue for Apple devices.
- Why you may have to update your device.
- The best type of HDMI cable for Android or Apple.
- The correct GPU settings for the best streaming experience.
- And so much more…
Why won’t Netflix play through HDMI?
Netflix won’t play through your HDMI because the cable may not be compatible with Netflix. Or it may be damaged. Or you need the correct GPU/video settings. In some cases, your Internet connection needs to be faster. Or you need to update your Apple device.
Netflix won’t play through HDMI: 7 fixes
#1: Check whether your HDMI cable is compatible with Netflix
The first thing that you need to check is whether your HDMI cable is compatible with Netflix.
“How do I do that?”
Netflix will display an error message that says, “HDCP-compatible device is required.”
“What does that even mean???”
Let’s start first with HDCP.
HDCP stands for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, which protects copyrighted digital content.
When you use an HDMI cable, the cable transmits the content from Netflix to your TV.
If the cable isn’t compatible with HDCP, you won’t be able to stream Netflix.
Here’s the catch: an HDMI cable is supposed to be compatible with HDCP, but nothing is ever foolproof.
To verify whether your HDMI cable is compatible with Netflix, follow these steps.
If it doesn’t work, go to the next step and then the next, and so on.
Step 1: Ensure that the HDMI cable is securely connected to the HDMI port of the TV. Try streaming Netflix again.
Step 2: Try each side/end of the HDMI cable and plug in to the HDMI port. Try if the error message disappears.
Step 3: Check your TV and use a different HDMI port. See if you can load Netflix.
Step 4: If you have another TV, try your HDMI cable on it. Now try Netflix again.
You may also like: Samsung TV Not Recognizing HDMI Input: 11 Fixes
#2: Change your HDMI cable
Did you know that an HDMI cable has 19 pins?
If any one of these pins, or the lanes that are built inside the cable, have been damaged, you’re going to have a faulty HDMI cable.
So how do you know if your cable is the reason why you can’t play Netflix on your TV?
First, look for physical signs of damage. These include:
- Obvious damage to the pins
- Looks crushed or pinched
Next, connect the cable to your streaming device and your TV and try and see if you can play anything on the TV screen.
If the video has any of the following, you may have a damaged HDMI cable:
- Weird or unusual colors
- Fuzziness or blurriness
- “Interference” or flickering dots, sparkles, or shooting stars
- Intermittence or unsteady images
If you see these signs when you try to play a video on your TV screen, you need to change your HDMI cable.
Bonus tip: Restart your device or your TV or both after plugging in your HDMI cable.
If you still can’t play Netflix after doing that, it’s time to get a new HDMI cable.
For Android devices, get a USB-C or Type D HDMI.
For iOS devices without HDMI ports and with Lighting connectors, you need Lightning adapters.
If you’re using Apple devices with 30-pin dock connectors, you will need Apple’s 30-pin dock digital adapters.
#3: Set the correct GPU settings
If you’re trying to stream Netflix through HDMI from a computer, your GPU settings must be set correctly.
“What is GPU?”
GPU or graphics processing unit handles video rendering on computers.
Your settings must be set to “full screen” in order to play Netflix successfully.
Also, if you’re using a Windows 10 computer, you may need to update your video driver.
Note: If your computer has a GPU, you need to use the specific software from the manufacturer to update the driver.
To check your GPU settings on a Windows 10 computer, all you need to do is:
- Go to Settings.
- Click on System, then find Display.
- Scroll down to Multiple Displays, then click on Graphics settings.
- Choose the Netflix app.
After that, you will be prompted to choose between better performance or battery life.
Watch how you can check your GPU settings on a Windows 10 computer:
#4: Stream Netflix from your browser or app
Still no go?
Another fix that you should try is to play Netflix from a browser or an app.
“But I am playing Netflix from the app!”
Okay, then you should try playing it from the browser.
And if you’re using the browser, try playing Netflix from the app.
“Why do I need to do this?”
This will help you isolate the issue and find its root cause.
Sometimes, your TV can block an app from opening. Or your browser can be tagged as suspicious.
To open Netflix from a browser, you just have to:
- Open a Web browser.
- Go to www.netflix.com.
- Enter your email address and password.
If you’re opening the Netflix app for the first time, just download it and install it.
Open it by clicking or tapping on it, and then enter your login information.
If Netflix still won’t play from either the browser or the app, then you can try the next tip.
#5: Update your device
If none of these fixes have worked so far, your device may need an update.
This is especially true for Apple devices that are using OS 11 or earlier.
“Why do I have to update my device, I just want to watch a movie.”
When your device is updated, that means that it has the latest good bits so that it will perform at its best.
Also, running on earlier versions may sometimes cause incompatibility issues or bugs.
If you’re on a computer, updating your operating system should be automatic. Your computer will prompt you if an update is available.
For other devices, there are specific instructions for updating the device.
But essentially, you just need to go to Settings, then find System and select System Update.
If a new version of your OS is available, download and install it.
Read next: 5 Ways to Use Your Smart TV Without Remote
#6: Restart your router
Don’t forget that you need a stable Internet connection to stream Netflix through your HDMI.
You may not need a smart TV (actually), but you do need fast Internet.
Netflix needs at least 1 Mbps for a standard definition streaming and 3 to 5 Mbps for high definition.
For 4K or Ultra HD, your Internet must be as fast as 15 Mbps.
A quick way to refresh your Internet is to restart your router.
This is also called a power cycle, and all you have to do is:
- Unplug your router from the wall.
- Plug it back in after at least 10 seconds.
- Open the Netflix app on your streaming device.
- Enter your email address and password.
For even better results, you can also restart your streaming device and your TV while restarting your router.
#7: Lower video quality
Finally, try lowering your video quality.
This is especially true if your Internet connection isn’t super fast.
You see, Netflix needs high bandwidth to stream.
But you can lower the video quality to make up for your Internet speed.
To do this:
- Open the Netflix app on your streaming device or go to the Netflix site on your browser.
- Click or tap on Profile, and then go to App Settings.
- Find Downloads and click or tap on Download Video Quality.
- Select “Standard”.