How to find 4K content for your 4K devices

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Does the internet have 4K content? Read on.

Imagine this:

you have finally managed to get your hands on that special and expensive 4K TV set that you always wanted.

Maybe you have bought a new and shiny computer monitor that supports 4K resolution.

Or maybe, you happened to have a lot of money lying around and went out in the market to buy an expensive smartphone device that offered 4K resolution.

However, after the purchase of that special tv/monitor/phone, you continue to wonder where on earth is all the content that is made in 4k?

Well, it turns out, the answer is not that easy.

For one reason or another, it is indeed difficult for users with a 4K display device to find content.

Sometimes you feel like it is actually impossible to come across some good looking content that deserves to be displayed on your brand new 4K display.

In that context, we want readers just like you to know that currently, finding good 4K content is hard.

The problem with 4K content is that no one is actually interested in making it.

No TV maker wants to make 4K content.

No set-top box maker or marketer seem to want to offer 4K content.

And you can bet that YouTube streamers do not want to make 4K content either because that would eat into their profits.

In short, no one on the internet is making it any easier for average online consumers to watch 4K content.

However, you don’t have to worry.

We have made this guide just for you.

But before getting into it, we have to mention some caveats.

First of all, you must ensure that you not only have a 4K ready display but also a 4K ready source.

The majority of the TV sets in the market today along with the majority of the computers monitors and of course, smartphone devices are pretty much 4K ready right out of the box.

However, the story is different when it comes to sources.

In other words, apps or set-top boxes have a hard time in providing 4K content.

The other thing is that even if they offer 4K content, streaming that content can become a trickier task.

It is true that the majority of the apps which come built-in into a given 4K smart TV should offer 4K readiness.

However, make sure that you double check that fact with the manufacturer of your TV set and also the app maker itself.

The same goes for set-top boxes.

Contact their manufacturers and find out for sure they support 4K content.

Our research shows that users can actually get themselves to stream 4K content with ease on streaming devices from manufacturers such as,

  • Sony
  • Microsoft
  • Nvidia
  • Apple
  • Roku

However, when it comes to the app makers such as the Amazon Primes and the Netflix’s of this world, they may not provide default support for 4K content for your particular set-top box.

The point is, no matter what happens you must make sure that you have double checked and then triple check with the manufacturer of your device.

We are totally aware of the fact that this task of asking manufacturers is as annoying as it gets.

But until these companies make it easier for us to find some other way, this will have to do.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the app themselves.

A lot of you folks seem to forget that even if the display and the source that you have set up offer support for 4K content, there is no guarantee that the app maker provides support for that specific content which you want to stream and/or watch offline.

Our research shows that if you take out one or two online streaming services, then it becomes rather a hard challenge to actually go out and find content on any given online streaming service which is genuinely 4K ready.

Now, don’t get the wrong impression here.

The internet offers users just like you a lot of 4K content.

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However, the problem with that 4K content is that services and platforms don’t allow for users to search terms such as 4K when they are searching for content hoping that the search feature would return all 4K available content.

Instead of doing that, you really have no other choice but to actually actively look for a particular piece of content that you have a desire to watch and consume.

After finding such a content, then you have to check whether that content is available in 4K resolution.

Of course, there are some obvious exceptions to this situation.

Namely, TV shows and movies that studios develop and release on specific platforms.

Examples include content that is labeled Amazon Prime exclusive or Netflix exclusive.

Our research shows that stuff like that is almost always 4K ready with great consistency.

Moreover, such content also happens to support HDR most of the time.

Those of you who want to make sure that their content looks just a tad bit more pristine should make sure that they have a nice combination of an app, source, and display that supports 4K in addition to them also supporting HDR.

For now, it is suffice for you to know that HDR stands for High Definition Range.

It is kind of like a display technology which improves contrast and colors.

And in the process of doing so, it makes all the details of a given image or video easier to see and actually pick out in light or dark areas of whatever is currently on the given screen.

Let’s discuss some of the services that not only offer 4K content but also HDR content.

You should remember though that the best streaming services usually have support for a total of two HDR.

One is HDR10.

This refers to any display device that has support for HDR.

The second one is Dolby Vision.

Most consider Dolby Vision as a fancier and more marketable version of the vanilla HDR.

The developers of Dolby Vision intend for this version of HDR to actually adapt to that specific display that you have bought and set up.

It does that by making use of some metadata.

We want you to think of HDR10 as the version which is de facto HDR.

Additionally, we want you to think about Dolby Vision as nothing but a minor enhancement of HDR.

It is still great though.

But, again, you have to make sure that your device actually has support for Dolby Vision.

We would like to remind you again that even if your setup does not support Dolby Vision it is all fine.

Not having Dolby Vision is no major loss.

After all this talk, we sure hope that now you have a clearer idea of how to make sense of HDR, 4K, and streaming.

We think that now you are primed to hunt for 4K content on the internet to stream via your streaming devices and services.

Netflix

As the majority of you folks might already have expected, Netflix is actually one of the major frontrunners if we’re solely talking about support for HDR and 4K on part of a given streaming service.

Now, keep in mind that does not mean that each and every piece of content that you may find on Netflix is in 4K.

There is actually a ton of TV shows and movies that do not have support for 4K and HDR.

However, there are certainly many TV shows and movies that do support these new forms of display technology.

In order to maximize your chances of finding and watching 4K and HDR content make sure you keep an eye out for Netflix originals.

These are series and movies that Netflix itself produces.

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Once you find your content, run another search with UltraHD (which is the official alternative term of the label 4K) in order find the matching material.

It goes without saying that you actually need to be on the Premium subscription package in order to via Ultra HD Netflix.

Currently, that is the only way for users to enjoy all of the movies and tv series available on the platform in their best possible resolution.

You should also know that at the time of writing this guide, Netflix is likely to charge you around $14 per month in order to make you a Premium member.

Aside from the Ultra HD content, the other benefit of subscribing to the premium package is that Netflix allows you to watch its content on a total of four devices at any given time.

Needless to say, Netflix also provides support for HDR.

In fact, it has support for both kinds of HDR.

Some of its content supports Dolby Vision and some supports HDR10 format.

Netflix also makes it easy for users to identify such a content by displaying a little label of Dolby Vision or HDR alongside those titles that support them once you actually find movies and shows that have support for HDR.

Again, we remind you, that you will have to have the top Premium subscription plan for such features to work.

Our research shows that Netflix is currently working on an Ultra tier subscription package and has already reached the testing phase.

However, it still has not appeared on the official website.

Amazon Prime Video

Finally, we have an industry where Amazon is not the absolute dominant player.

However, the company with its Amazon Prime Video Service has managed to somehow keep pace with the likes of Netflix with some help from its own versions of HDR and 4K.

Pretty much like all other streaming services on the internet, if you have the money then you are part of the club.

In the case of Amazon, you have to come up with $13 per month or around $120 per year.

And pretty much like Netflix and others, Amazon Prime Video also does not have all its content in either HDR or 4K format.

However, our research shows that the service is gradually introducing more and more content in HDR and 4K.

Again, similar to Netflix, you should keep an eye out for Amazon Prime Video productions if you want the best resolution and HDR content.

But unlike Netflix, Amazon does not make it easy for you to find out if the title in question is available in HDR or 4K resolution.

In order to find out such information, the user has to open each given title one by one and then search for that label alongside movie and TV series title.

Similar to Netflix, Amazon makes use of the UHD and/or Ultra HD label for content that is available in 4K.

Our research shows that some devices have the capability to separate various different 4K titles into their own separate and different category.

However, even this feature is not really visible on any and all platforms that support the official Amazon Prime Video application.

Coming to the part about HDR, Amazon Prime Video supports both the two major Dolby Vision and HDR10 standards.

Amazon Prime Video indicates whether or not a given title has 4K support by showing an icon alongside supported movies and shows.

So if you happen to have not seen any such labels on any title that you have come across which you know should support HDR and 4K then know that the problem lies with your device.

More specifically, it does not offer 4K and/or HDR features.

Google Play Movies & TV and/or YouTube

We are happy to inform you that both Google Play Movies & TV along with YouTube offer users HDR and 4K support.

You should understand though that these are actually two services and are at least technically separate.

However, we have also found that they definitely have some overlap.

In what sense?

In the sense that your purchases via Google Play Movies & TV do become visible in YouTube as well.

Perhaps you would already know that YouTube now offers content which has resolutions beyond 4K.

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Of course, that is of little use since hardly any YouTube viewer has the kind of hardware that is required to make such a content stream properly.

Leaving that aside, YouTube actually offers a decent amount of content that is in UHD or 4K and also HDR, more specifically HDR10, on the official Google Play Movies and TV.

You should remember though that in order for any title to support HDR, YouTube must offer it in 4K.

Another fine point to keep in mind here is that not each and every TV show and movie that is 4K automatically has access to YouTube HDR features.

It goes without saying that you will definitely need a device that has the proper compatibility properties in order to make the best use of HDR and 4K.

Moreover, our research shows that the actual list of content that satisfies all such conditions is very short.

But, again, it is growing at a steady pace.

Other good news is that Google has actually begun the process of upgrading a good portion of its HD content directly to 4K.

The fact that many production studios now have the capability to make such content is also positive.

YouTube is already providing links to users to access 4K movies directly.

Let’s move our focus on how to find proper content on YouTube.

The first thing that you should do is to click the button that says Filter.

You have to do this once you have searched for something on YouTube.

Then you should choose the options HDR and 4K from the drop-down menu.

iTunes Store

Apple’s iTunes has also entered the race and has actually grown its huge library of content in 4K.

We have also come to know that Apple has already launched plans to bring quite a few upgrades to its reasonably sized library of good material.

Our research shows that Apple iTunes has offered 4K content to people since last year.

So, in essence, Apple became an industry leader in the area of offering content in 4K.

In a generous move, Apple event offers to upgrade your purchases from long-lost past to 4K if that is available.

And it does that for free.

The Apple iTunes also offers users HDR support.

More specifically, it has support for both versions of HDR, Dolby Vision as well as HDR10.

All you have to do in order to find such content is have a browsing session on the official iTunes store.

Sooner or later, you will come across content that has labels such as Dolby Vision, HDR, and 4K in the form of stickers.

Again, these are available only on selected titles.

Moreover, we would also like to mention here that the upgrades that we have talked about so far have actually NOT made it to the present content regarding television shows which the official iTunes store offers.

In other words, these upgrades are currently only available for movies.

If you go to the movies section of the official iTunes Store, you should have no problems in first identifying the 4K Movies link present slightly on the right-hand side of the shown Movies section and then using that link as a special shortcut.

Apple, as a company, has said in the past that whenever a given user just like you purchases a film which has been converted into one of the upgraded formats we have mentioned above, the service would automatically go ahead and select the version which is right for the user and his/her device.

Vudu

Vudu is another one of those places where users just like you can actually pick up shows and movies in 4K resolution digital format.

All that you have to do is to make sure you keep a lookout for the UHD label while you go about your business browsing Vudu titles.

When you have set your eyes on a given title, make sure that you tick the option of UHD while you are trying to rent or buy a title from Vudu.

Perhaps this is a good time to mention that unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Vudu charges users on a purchase basis.

You pay for what you get.

There is no monthly subscription package here.

All 4K purchases come with HDR as well.

Vudu supports both Dolby Vision as well as HDR10 if the title in question has Ultra HD compatibility.

Again, you should not have a problem in recognizing the related content because Vudu indicates which content is available in HDR and 4K with the help of labels alongside movie listings.

 

Zohair

Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
Zohair

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