Apple’s upcoming macOS Big Sur operating system offers HDR video support, which allows Netflix users to watch 4K HDR content for the first time. However, there is a catch.
Only Macs sporting an Apple T2 security chip are compatible with the new 4K HDR streaming option. Apple Terminal spotted a recently updated support document on Netflix’s Help Center that has added the hardware requirements for viewing 4K HDR content in Safari on macOS Big Sur.
The web page says Ultra HD content can only be viewed to full effect on a “select 2018 or later Mac computer with an Apple T2 Security chip.” The document also mentions that any monitor connected to the Mac must be a 60Hz 4K capable display with HDCP 2.2 connection.
Why a Mac would require a T2 security chip for 4K HDR playback, since Windows machines don’t have the same requirement, we don’t know for sure. MacRumors suggests it is a way to prevent older Mac users from attempting to stream the UHD content on older Macs, which might not have the specs to pull off an enjoyable viewing experience.
The following Macs have the Apple T2 Security Chip, making them capable to stream Netflix in Ultra HD on macOS Big Sur:
- iMac introduced in 2020
- iMac Pro
- Mac Pro introduced in 2019
- Mac mini introduced in 2018
- MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later
- MacBook Pro introduced in 2018 or later
Other requirements include:
- A plan that supports streaming in Ultra HD. (You can check which plan you’re currently on at netflix.com/ChangePlan.)
- A steady internet connection speed of 25 megabits per second or higher.
- Streaming quality set to Auto or High.
macOS Big Sur is currently still in beta (now up to its ninth public beta), and will likely be released to the public sometime this month.