Stranger Things 3 has just dropped on Netflix, and all eight episodes are available to stream right now, in glorious 4K HDR. But there are several requirements you need to hit if you want to gawp at the weird wonders of the Upside Down in the highest possible quality.
Set in the summer of 1985, Stranger Things 3 follows Eleven, Will Byers and the rest of the gang as they try not to get gobbled up by weird supernatural entities again. But we all know that the real big draw is Steve’s hair.
But first, some 4K HDR background. The term 4K tends to be used interchangeably with Ultra HD and UHD. 4K screens have four times as many pixels as Full HD screens, which means you get a much sharper and clearer picture.
HDR, meanwhile, stands for High Dynamic Range. The technology makes content look that little bit better, with enhanced contrast and greater brightness levels – think brighter whites and deeper blacks.
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You can only watch Netflix in 4K HDR if you’re on the £11.99 per month Premium plan – Netflix’s priciest tier. As well as letting you stream in 4K and HDR, the Premium option gives you the ability to watch Netflix on up to four different devices at any one time.
Netflix recommends you have a steady internet connection of 25Mbps or higher, in order to stream in 4K HDR.
You also need to ensure that streaming quality is set to High on your account – though beware if you’re on a limited data plan. You can adjust your settings by going to Account > My Profile > Playback Settings.
Netflix actually supports two different HDR formats: Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10. That means you can watch Netflix in 4K HDR on a 4K device that also supports either Dolby Vision or HDR10.
The list of compatible devices would be a little too long (and painful) to publish here, but if you’re in the market for a new TV anyway, some of our favourite 4K HDR smart TVs include the Samsung QE65Q90R, the LG C8 OLED and the Panasonic TX-55FZ952B.
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Unfortunately, the very best models tend to cost well over £1000. If you haven’t got that kind of money burning a hole in your pocket, you’ll be able to find some cheaper 4K HDR TVs by checking out our best TV Prime Day deals roundup.
You can save yourself some money by purchasing a dumb (non-smart) 4K HDR TV, and augmenting it with a media player that supports 4K and HDR content. Some of the most popular options are the Amazon Fire TV 4K, Chromecast Ultra and Apple TV 4K.
You’ll get the biggest gains from 4K HDR on a big screen, but plenty of smartphones and tablets also offer a 4K HDR viewing experience. Compatible Android devices include the Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 7 Pro, Google Pixel 3, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus range, and Samsung Galaxy Note 9. You can view a full list here.