Microsoft’s Edge browser holds a monopoly on HD Netflix streaming. It’s the only browser that supports it and the only alternative is to use the very buggy Netflix UWP app. Mac users cannot watch Netflix in 1080p since they have neither an official Netflix app, nor can they download Edge. Fortunately, there’s now an extension and an add-on that you can install and watch Netflix in 1080p in Chrome and Firefox.
For Chrome, you can install Netflix 1080p, and for Firefox, you can install Force 1080p Playback For Netflix.
Watch Netflix In 1080p
Once you’ve installed the extension or add-on and play a Netflix title that is available in 1080p. When the title starts playing, tap the Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S keyboard shortcut. It will open a menu like the one shown below.
In this menu, look in the Video Bitrate column. If you have a Netflix account that supports HD, and the title you selected supports 1080p, you will see the option listed in the Video Bitrate column. Select it to play the title in 1080p.
You will need to force the resolution for each title and you will need to force it every single time you watch something. For example, if you decide to watch the Netflix Death Note movie and force the 1080p resolution, you will have to do so again the next time you watch it.
Problems With Netflix 1080p Playback
The extension/add-on lets you watch Netflix in 1080p however there are some limitations. The obvious limitation is that of your Netflix Plan. You need to be subscribed to a plan that supports HD playback or the 1080p option simply will not appear in the menu.
Your internet connection speed and stability will also play a role in 1080p playback. If your connection is slow or unstable, Netflix will play in the quality that it can support.
If you’re using a VPN for Netflix, it might be throttling your speed which will in turn prevent Netflix from playing in HD. If you’re using the VPN to change your country and access titles not available in your region, you need to make sure the HD version of the title you want to watch is available in that country. Sometimes, although it’s rare, Netflix doesn’t release the HD version of a title in all countries.
If you’re using a Mac or a Macbook, these extensions are the only way you can watch Netflix in 1080p.