Surface Book 2 15" won't play Netflix 4K video on external display

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by wynand32, Apr 22, 2018.

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  1. wynand32

    wynand32 Notebook Consultant

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    I recently bought a Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q 27" monitor at Costco, great deal at $380. I'm using it connected to my SB2 15" using Microsoft's Surface USB-C to HDMI adapter. It connects at 60Hz, so that's fine. However, I was using it to watch Netflix (using Edge) and noticed that it wasn't using the bandwidth I expected for 4K streams.

    So, I discovered a command that can be used to check a Netflix stream's bitrate and resolution. You can hit Ctrl-Shift-Alt-D when the Netflix window is in the forefront to get a bunch of information, including the current bitrate and resolution. Hit Ctrl-Shift-Alt-S and you can see and adjust the CDN used for the stream and override the current bitrate.

    Here's the problem: the SB2 15" doesn't play 4K Netflix video in spite of all the necessary pieces being in place. I plugged the same USB-C to HDMI adapter, cable, and monitor into an Acer Switch 7 that I'm currently reviewing and it plays the same videos at 4K. The only difference is that the Acer's USB-C supports Thunderbolt 3.

    I'm certain that the SB2 15"'s USB-C port should drive a 4K Netflix stream. Apparently, using the Surface Dock doesn't make a difference and so it's not the adapter. This is very disappointing to me.

    If anyone else has an SB2, a 4K display, and the required Netflix plan, could you test yours and see if you're having any better luck?
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