With macOS Big Sur, Mac users will be able to stream Netflix in 4K HDR on their computer. However, there is a catch. To stream 4K content one needs a 4K-capable display, right? No. According to the latest development, you’ll need a Mac with T2 security chip to stream Netflix in 4K HDR with macOS Big Sur.
In a support document spotted by Apple Terminal (via 9to5Mac), Netflix was found stating that you’ll need a computer with a T2 Security chip to stream in 4K. This translates to a lot of Macs missing out on the upcoming feature. Theoretically, older iMacs and pre-2018 Mac laptops can play 4K content but they’ll miss out on streaming Netflix in 4K due to the lack of T2 security chip.
For reference, hese are the Macs the pack a T2 security chip: 2018 or later MacBook Pro, 2018 or later MacBook Air, 2018 Mac mini, 2019 Mac Pro, iMac Pro and 2020 iMac. You can further find out if your Mac has the required chip by following the steps Apple details on its website.
According to The Verge, the T2 security chip requirement could have something to do with its ability to process HEVC encoded videos. The iMac webpage (via Engadget) says the coprocessor can transcode HEVC video up to twice as fast as its previous generation T1 chip. Hence, if Netflix is encoding streams using HEVC then the requirement is justified.
Apart from the T2 security chip, to stream Netflix in 4K, you’ll need macOS Big Sur alongside Netflix’s $16 per month Premium subscription. Moreover, you’ll need to browse Netflix through Safari because other browsers will limit the stream to 720p on a Mac.