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Netflix Is Pixelated (Causes and How to Fix)

I recently had a major issue with my Netflix streaming, no matter what I did, the content I wanted to watch was pixelated and unwatchable. After trying a few different methods to try and fix it myself, I finally figured out what was causing the issue – and how to fix it. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you the causes of pixelated Netflix streaming, as well as the methods I used to fix it.

Well, there could be a few reasons why this issue is happening, including a slow internet connection, incorrect streaming settings, or a low-end subscription plan. 

IssuePossible CausesSolutions
Pixelated Streaming1. Slow internet connectionUpgrade your internet plan or contact your internet service provider for assistance
on Netflix2. Incorrect streaming settingsAdjust streaming settings on Netflix: Account > Playback settings > Data usage per screen > Choose “High” > Click “Save”
3. Low-end subscription plan (basic plan)Upgrade to a higher subscription plan (at least the standard plan) for HD streaming

Why Is Netflix Pixelated and How Do I Fix It?

Here are some of the usual culprits behind pixelated movies and shows on Netflix:

  1. Slow Internet Connection

You could be right on the money if your first thought was, “Maybe it’s my internet connection?” A sluggish internet connection can definitely ruin video quality and cause some pixelation. 

On that account, you need to run a speed test to see how your internet is looking. 

To watch Netflix in high-definition (HD), you need a download speed of 5–15 megabits per second (Mbps) at least. 

On the other hand, if you want to stream your Netflix shows in Ultra-HD (UHD) or 4K resolution, an average speed of 25 Mbps is needed. 

If your internet speed is lower than that, then it’s time to upgrade your internet plan.

  1. Incorrect Streaming Settings

Supposing that your internet connection is fast and steady, then the pixelated quality might be caused by your app’s streaming settings.

Your Netflix app has four streaming options, namely low, medium, high, and auto. Each one determines which quality your movies and shows will be playing in.

If the flicks show up undefined and unclear, then your streaming setting might be on auto, low, or medium.

Here’s a more detailed description of each streaming choice so you’d get a better idea of how they affect your viewing experience:

  1. Low

Choosing this setting will play video content in standard definition (SD). This type of resolution has a pixel height of 480 per image.

It’s not as sharp and detailed as 720p and 1080p. However, on the positive side, it’s not fuzzy and blurry compared to 360p and below.

This option is perfect if you’ve got a certain data limit on your internet connection. This is because you’ll only be using up 0.3 gigabytes (GB) per hour on this setting.

  1. Medium

Your data usage will be upped to 0.7 GB per hour on the medium-quality setting. You’ll still be streaming in SD, but on a higher level in that category.

  1. High

You’re going to want to set the streaming quality setting to high if you want HD and UHD streaming. When you’re in this setting, you’ll be consuming data ranging from 3 GB up to 7 GB per hour.

  1. Auto

This setting automatically adjusts the type of quality it delivers based on your internet speed. This is so you can stream without any interruptions.

However, this will more likely land you in either low or medium quality.

To adjust your streaming options, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Click the drop-down arrow beside your profile avatar located in the upper right corner of the homepage.
  • Step 2: Choose “Account.”
  • Step 3: Find “Playback settings” under the profile section.
  • Step 5: Under “Data usage per screen,” choose “High” for HD and Ultra-HD streaming.
  • Step 6: Finally, click “Save,” and that should do the trick.
  1. Low-End Subscription Plan

Netflix offers three plans for its users: basic, standard, and premium. If you can’t find the high streaming option, it might be because you’re on the lowest subscription plan. 

The basic plan is the only one that doesn’t support HD viewing. Perhaps it’s why you’re experiencing videos with low quality.

If you want to improve your viewing experience, upgrade your subscription to at least the standard plan. That’s the next cheaper option for HD streaming.

Here’s more detailed information about Netflix’s standard plan:

  • It costs $15.49/month
  • You can stream on two devices
  • You can watch in full HD
  • You can download movies and shows on two devices for offline viewing


Don’t let low video quality ruin your movie night. Go ahead and investigate why your Netflix is pixelated.

It may be because of a slow internet speed, or maybe because you simply selected the wrong streaming option. Another possibility is you need to upgrade your subscription.

Whatever the cause is, we hope you’ve picked up useful tips and information from this article to resolve the problem at hand.

Now, go grab your popcorn and your cozy blanket; it’s time to binge-watch your favorite show!