r/techsupport Nov 11 '22

If I stream videos on a 1080p laptop and use a 4K HDMI cable and connect it to a 4K TV, can I watch the videos on 4K quality? Open | Networking

Basically what I wrote above, it's nothing too complicated but I need to write something here so I can post, just ignore this guys. Hello, my name is Guttor, I am 62 and I live in Bermuda, I have 8 kids and 20 grandkids. All of them are boys! Very surprising. This was also a lie, I am making this up. Is this enough bot? Please let it be.

183 Upvotes

35 comments sorted by

114

u/ntx61 Nov 11 '22

Yes and no.

First and foremost, your laptop's iGPU should be capable of outputting that resolution.

As for the HDMI standard, HDMI 1.4 is required -- 4K works in either 30Hz RGB or 60 Hz 4:2:0.
HDMI 2.0 is required if you need full 4K 60Hz support.

Additionally, if you want to stream in 4K, you may need to comply with additional requirements. For example, Netflix demands 4K 60Hz display with HDCP 2.2 connection, among other requirements. You may have to project only to the TV to satisfy the requirements.

19

u/gbushprogs Nov 12 '22

Not only that, 4K video can be really difficult on a CPU and RAM intensive. If it's not a very new laptop, it's unlikely to be able to playback at 4K.

6

u/ntx61 Nov 12 '22 edited Nov 12 '22

u/jdsmn21: I have seen your reply through a notification on my browser, but I can't see your comment yet, so I'm replying here. (Also this is a clarification to u/gbushprogs, just in case they ask a similar question.)

This isn't a new i3 laptop, but a 2-year-old one.

While my i3 laptop can send 4K signals over HDMI, it can only do 30 Hz RGB or 60 Hz 4:2:0. I don't exactly know if this is caused by incompatible cables or that my laptop simply does not support HDMI 2.0 (although I'm suspecting the latter one is the case). The 4K content in question is in HDR10 format and encoded in H.265 (which lags on 4K display, even if decoded in hardware); I haven't tested 4K SDR content on 4K display (although they actually play fine).

Another quirk (off-topic) is that all 3 USB 3.2 ports on my laptop are only Gen 1, meaning they are technically identical to USB 3.1 Gen 1, and also technically identical to USB 3.0.

As for the N3710 laptop, the iGPU simply does not support decoding content beyond 4K60p H.264 and 4K30p H.265, both 8-bit. And it is unlikely that it could send 4K signals, let alone sending 4K content into a 1080p display.

4

u/ntx61 Nov 12 '22

This.

And low-end devices may also suffer. I have a laptop with Core i3-1005G1 (Intel UHD Graphics, no dGPU), and it appears challenging to play 4K HDR content in a 4K display (over HDMI), even with hardware-based decoding.

I also have one with Pentium N3710 (Intel HD Graphics 405, also without dGPU), and this one, while it supports decoding 4K content, it can't properly play the same in a 1080p display (over HDMI), nor can it play 4K YouTube videos in 4K (VP9/AV1 hardware decoding is not supported, and resolutions above 1080p are no longer available in H.264).

2

u/jdsmn21 Nov 12 '22

Why is it a 2 year old $30 Roku stick can send 4k to a TV, but a new i3 can’t ?

3

u/BigCatSanctuary Moderator; "no backups? no data!" Nov 12 '22

Because those embedded chips in phones, tablets, and streaming sticks often have dedicated silicon to handle new video formats before general-purpose CPUs can.

1

u/Windowsuser360 Nov 12 '22

Not even if it's a new laptop, if it's Cheap Probably not, though I've seen a 2018 $450 AMD laptop play 4K 60 in HEVC just fine, Really it's only cheap and old laptops that cannot play 4K

1

u/Kuroodo Nov 12 '22

I don't know if it changed or not, but Netflix and such don't do 4k streaming with most common browsers. I think not even 1080p.

The only browser I remember that did at least 1080p streaming with Netflix was Edge

1

u/ntx61 Nov 12 '22

AFAIK Netflix demands that decryption of HD content is to be done in a secure environment. Since supported web browsers, including Microsoft Edge, do not implement Widevine DRM protection schemes stricter than L3 (meaning decryption is always done in software), they can't request Netflix for HD content.

Microsoft Edge (Windows) and Safari (macOS) are both capable of leveraging secure, hardware-based content decryption through their respective DRM solutions (PlayReady and FairPlay).

1

u/Windowsuser360 Nov 12 '22

Netflix only does 4K if you use the app and meet a certain set of hardware

Intel Core i7 7th Gen or newer HDCP 2.2 support Must use integrated graphics or it plays at 1080p Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX) Windows 10 or newer

Might be out of date especially since SGX was discontinued by Intel, this set of requirements also applies to pretty much every streaming service except Hulu And Disney Plus (Hard Limit Of 720p On PC And Mobile), requirements also fall for 4K Blurays

52

u/clerk37 Nov 11 '22

If you want to get 4k quality on the tv, make sure that the resolution is set to 3840x2160 on windows for the tv. And as the other commenter said, it can't be in mirror mode, as that would limit you to 1080p.

9

u/MrGuttor Nov 11 '22

Thanks!

8

u/clerk37 Nov 11 '22

Going through the rest of the comments, I see people brought up 2 other concerns.

First is the type of HDMI cable and port. Unless you have a very old one, I wouldn't worry much about this. Most cables and ports you will find today will be capable of doing 4k 30 frames per second, which will cover most movies and TV shows anyway. But If there is something you want to watch at 60 frames per second, do be aware that can be a bit harder if you have an older cable or TV.

The second and more important one is the limitation of your streaming service. Theoretically you can connect the computer, and it will display in 4k on the TV, if you have the settings as I told you before. But many of the popular streaming sites, (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) Limit streams on computers to 1080p or even 720p in some cases. They require you to use separate streaming devices to access the 4k, as it might be too easy to make a copy with a PC. So I would make sure what you're streaming is actually in 4K, if you want to see the quality difference.

1

u/MrGuttor Nov 12 '22

Thanks again :)

21

u/Morphevz Nov 11 '22

Am I the only seeing that one vital detail hasn't been said yet?First and foremost, if you want to see 4K content, make sure the source material is 4K.

A less knowledgeable person would read the info here and think they could stream 1080p (or lower) content on 4K capable hardware and see 4K, which well, you don't, not natively, and if it's not native, it's not 4K, upscale it all you want through all gimmics and tech wizardry you'd like.

2

u/MrGuttor Nov 11 '22

I meant 4K video on a 1080p laptop, I guess I forgot to mention it.

2

u/Windowsuser360 Nov 12 '22

When connected to an external display your laptop screen shouldn't affect anything, just for extra fixes I just set it to second screen only and I get 4K 60

2

u/Morphevz Nov 12 '22

Cool cool, then you've been lead in the right direction by our fellow redditors =)

3

u/Plisky123 Nov 11 '22

If the port, cable, and TV support it; it’s possible if the graphics processor on the laptop is capable of it.

Also if what you’re watching is 4k as well

2

u/h0va4life Nov 12 '22

From some of these replies I swear ppl overthink too much.

Confirm that your hardware, mainly the graphics card can output 4k. You can look it up OR test for yourself.

Hook up the laptop to your 4k display, make sure you have it on extend mode or project only.

Go to YouTube and search for 4k videos, and choose a recent/popular one. You should see a 4k quality video option in the video quality playback settings if your hardware supports 4k.

2

u/autobulb Nov 12 '22

The resolution of the laptops panel (built in screen) doesn't matter.

What you need is:

  1. the original source video must be 4K of course
  2. your laptop or device has to be able to decode (or playback) 4K material because some lower powered devices sometimes cannot
  3. the port on your laptop going to the TV must be able to output a 4K signal
  4. the port on your TV and the TV itself must be able to accept and display a 4K signal (as in, be an actual 4K TV display)
  5. (there's some other funky mess with DRM rights but lets worry about that later)

But that should get you through 85% of most situations. It sounds like a lot but if you have a device purchased in the past few years you should be good. 4K is pretty standard these days even for lower end devices.

1

u/MrGuttor Nov 12 '22

Thanks for the detailed reply.

2

u/TehWildMan_ Nov 11 '22

As long as you set the TV as a second display, not a duplicate of the internal screen.

-6

u/russellvt Nov 11 '22

Short answer: "maybe"

-1

u/riddlemonger Nov 11 '22

No. If the source is 1080p you cannot view it as 4K content. You can see it on a 4K screen, but it is not truly 4K.

4

u/[deleted] Nov 12 '22

[deleted]

-3

u/riddlemonger Nov 12 '22

OP asked about viewing a 1080p video in 4K. This has nothing to do with multiple monitors.

4

u/[deleted] Nov 12 '22

[deleted]

3

u/riddlemonger Nov 12 '22

Whoops. Guess I’m an idiot then.

1

u/tlokzz90 System Administrator Nov 11 '22

Don't forget to check the resolution limit of the laptop for the external HDMI port.

2

u/MrGuttor Nov 11 '22

do you know how I can do that?

1

u/tlokzz90 System Administrator Nov 11 '22

It'll be listed in the specifications. Just lookup the make & model.

1

u/[deleted] Nov 12 '22

Your output ports can make a difference. HDMI vs Display Port and whatever version you have of those.

-12

u/Shidoshisan Nov 11 '22

Whatever is the laptops resolution is the highest you can go. You said “on a 1080p laptop”. So I’m going to say no. If you are streaming in 1080p on a 4K laptop then yes, you could push it to a 4K tv and watch in 4K.

1

u/Relevant-Team Nov 12 '22

Not correct. The screen resolution of the laptop does not necessarily determine the screen resolution when using the HDMI or DP port.

1

u/Shidoshisan Nov 12 '22

I didn’t say the screen resolution. I said what the laptop is capable of. Screen resolution can be changed in settings. A GPU whether integrated in the cpu or on a separate card that can only put out 1080 cannot change to 4K. Monitors can upscale but that’s not an actual 4K image.