It may come as a surprise to hear that not every Android device with a good enough screen can play Netflix in HD. Two of Google’s older tablets, the Nexus 9 and the Pixel C, are no longer supported by Netflix, meaning movies and shows may no longer play in HD.
There are a few factors at play for supporting HD playback on a device. The most obvious is that your device’s screen needs to be high enough resolution, but there are also factors like Widevine DRM support, without which Netflix will only support playing in standard definition.
To help keep things straight, Netflix maintains a list of Android phones and tablets that can play videos in HD as well as HDR. Today, the list has been updated to remove both the Nexus 9 and the Pixel C, the last Google-branded tablets listed on the page. Earlier this year, Netflix made a similar move, dropping support for the Nexus 7, which was the first Android tablet to support Netflix in HD.
The Nexus 9 tablet released in November 2014, alongside the Nexus 6 phone, and similarly, the Pixel C launched in December 2015, a few months after the Nexus 6P. For the time being, both the Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P are still listed as supported by Netflix.
Owners of the Nexus 9 and Pixel C should still be able to watch movies and TV shows on Netflix, but they likely will not be able to view that content in HD. Instead, the app should fall back to standard definition or 480p.
The move is sorely disappointing for owners of the Pixel C, as the tablet’s last update landed less than two years ago. If the removal has to do with Widevine, then it’s likely the tablets will be unable to play content on other apps like Disney+.
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