prime video 4k playing 1080p

Are you facing prime video 4k playing 1080p? That is weird but fixable!

Prime Video currently offers 4K resolution for many titles, but you must have the necessary equipment.

However, sometimes the video will downgrade to 1080p, making you question what’s wrong.

Is your Prime Video not playing in 4K? Check the title’s availability in 4K, your system’s support, internet speed, and device settings to enable “auto resolution.”

Check all solutions below to stream 4K correctly with Prime Video!

Prime Video 4K Playing 1080p – 7 Ways To Fix

Solution #1: Verify If Your Content Is 4K-Ready

prime video 4k playing 1080p

So, how to play 4K on Prime Video? When you select a show or movie on Prime Video to watch, you can notice some tags under the show’s name and beside the content’s time, duration, and year.

If you are looking to watch “Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw,” for example, you will see the following: 

  • 13+
  • Subtitles
  • 5.1
  • HDR

The last info, HDR (High Dynamic Range), tells you the picture quality the movie is available on. Commonly, 4K movies use such a feature.

Other times, 4K movies use UHD (Ultra HD). So, if you spot that tag, you can watch it in 4K as well.

Solution #2: Check Device Compatibility

Depending on what type of device you are trying to watch your content on, here is where the confusion might be.

If you have a TV and know it supports 4K, check other solutions. On the other hand, you might be trying to watch 4K from your PC or phone.

Does 4K Work On PC/Mac?

4k work on pc_mac

For our current purposes, the short answer is a resounding “No!”.

While Windows and Mac are fully equipped to run games and other applications on 4K resolution, streaming is a different story. 

Currently, the only service that you can stream in 4K quality on your computer is Netflix.

You still can’t watch Prime Video in 4K on your computer.

Does 4K Work On Gaming Consoles?

4k working on gaming consoles

Gaming consoles nowadays feature streaming apps you can watch when connected to a TV.

Here are the consoles which support 4K streaming:

  • Xbox Series X
  • PlayStation 5
Note: The Xbox Series S and Series X are different devices. Series X is more powerful!

Does 4K Work In Phones?

4k working in phones

Certain newer phones can stream content in 4K resolution.

If you have one of the latest iPhones released, it certainly can stream 4K content (but you can’t download it).

Android phones, on the other hand, are a handful, right?

Here are some models which support 4K:

Suppose you have a different phone but a very powerful model. In that case, you should check its processor as well as other technical specs.

Anything similar, equal, or better than the listed above should stream 4K!

Solution #3: Check Your Network

checking your network

Is your Prime Video still not playing in 4k? After checking if your content and device are ready for 4K streaming, there is one more important detail: your network.

While most ISPs provide good enough internet, 4K is demanding and requires a very fast service: 50 MB/s, at least!

Note: Some content providers say you need around 20 MB/s for 4K content. 

That, however, is not so accurate. Going with more is always better because 4K is data-intensive.

How Do I Know If My Wi-Fi Is Enough?

is my wi-fi is enough

Perhaps your ISP provides at least 50MB/s of download. However, you should always check if you are truly receiving that much.

Moreover, Wi-Fi signals might deliver less than you would get via Ethernet. 

Here is how you can test:

  1. Open a web browser to Google on your phone.
  2. Type in “internet test” and go.
  3. Click on “perform internet test.”
  4. Google will check your connection in instants.

So, if your connection is below 50MB/s, you should connect an Ethernet cable from your router’s LAN port to the TV.

Tip: If your connection is enough but your TV is not playing 4K, you should restart both the TV and router. 

Connect To 5GHz

connecting to 5ghz

Nowadays, most routers present a dual band that splits the signal into two frequencies: 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

The download speed is mostly the same for both.

However, the way data is processed via 5GHz makes it better suitable for data-intensive activities.

5GHz is more stable and can allocate more data “packages” quickly. 

So do this on your TV:

  1. Go to the settings.
  2. Locate the network adjustments.
  3. Check which Wi-Fi you are connected to.
  4. Switch to 5GHz if you are not already connected to it.

Solution #4: Adjust The Settings

adjusting the settings

Another detail that could hinder the 4K capacities on your device (even when it is 4K-ready) is the adequate settings.

Perhaps the 4K capability has been disabled to save data or energy. Or it simply hasn’t been configured well. 

  1. Go to Settings on your TV.
  2. Select Display & Sounds.
  3. Select Display.
  4. Select Video Resolution.
  5. Set your video resolution to Auto.

The above is necessary because your TV’s system might not be able to switch to 4K resolution by default. 

Be Mindful Of HDMI Cables

Suppose you are trying to watch 4K streaming from your gaming console.

Hopefully, its original HDMI cable is still rocking.

But if you’ve had to replace it, it is important it attends to these specs:

  • 10.2 Gb/s
  • 4K @ 60 Hz
  • ARC, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD

The above are the specs for HDMI 1.3. Any HDMI type above it should be enough!

Solution #5: Clear The TV Cache

clearing the tv cache

Some basic features on your TV might not work when the app or TV’s cache is full or corrupted.

Many TVs nowadays allow you to clear the cache for individual apps or the entire system. 

The common steps are as follows:

  1. Locate the TV’s apps.
  2. Click on the Prime Video app.
  3. Choose its settings.
  4. Locate “Clear Data” or “Clear Cache.”

If the above isn’t available, you might need to clear the TV’s cache:

  1. Locate the TV’s general settings.
  2. Look for app settings or data settings.
  3. Find “Clear Cache.”
  4. Reboot the TV afterward!

Clear Cache On Roku TV

If your TV has Roku or you are using a Roku stick, you need to clear the system’s cache.

Here are the steps:

  1. Click the Home button on the TV remote.
  2. Move the cursor to the “Home” option on the TV.
  3. Click the “Home” button five times in a row.
  4. Click the “Up” button.
  5. Click “Rewind” twice.
  6. Click “Fast forward” twice.

It is a good idea to reboot your Roku system after you clear the cache. Then, try watching in 4K.

Solution #6: Reinstall/Update The App

reinstalling_update the app

TV owners who have already tried all of the above but still can’t stream in 4K must check for app updates.

That is because a recent app update has all the data necessary for your device to access 4K resolution.

Here is what you will do:

  1. Locate the apps area on your TV.
  2. Select the Prime Video app.
  3. Click on its Settings.
  4. Choose “Update app.”

If no update is available, you should uninstall the app. Uninstalling the app is also recommended if there is no way to clear the cache on your TV.

What Next?

When you uninstall the app on your TV, you must reboot the device.

Do this afterward:

  1. Go to the app store on your TV.
  2. Locate Prime Video.
  3. Install it.
  4. Try watching content in 4K.

Solution #7: Update Your TV’s Firmware

updating your tv's firmware

Finally, the issue about the 4K functionality might lie in your TV’s firmware.

Even though the hardware is prepared to handle 4K resolution, perhaps the firmware is outdated or glitched.

In that case, you must look for a system update:

  1. Locate the TV’s Settings.
  2. Select the “System” (or “General”) menu.
  3. Head to “System Update.”
  4. Choose “Check Now.”

The steps above are based on Roku. However, most TVs have similar options. You should navigate and locate the update check.

Quick Recap

When your Prime Video 4k is playing 1080p only, there are a lot of details you can check.

Once you are sure that your system and hardware are able to play 4K, all that’s left is managing the settings.

After that, you should no longer have trouble with the platform!

You can look for more tips and tricks regarding Prime Video on our blog!