Macs Need T2 Security Chip to Play 4K HDR Netflix in macOS Big Sur

Thursday, October 1, 2020 8:07 AM

Apple's upcoming macOS Big Sur operating system introduces HDR video support and allows Netflix users to watch content in 4K HDR for the first time. However, it turns out that only Macs with an Apple T2 Security chip are compatible with Ultra HD streaming.




Apple Terminal spotted a recently updated support document on Netflix's Help Center that now includes hardware requirements for viewing 4K HDR content in Safari on macOS Big Sur.


According to the web page, viewing Ultra HD content can only be achieved on a "select 2018 or later Mac computer with an Apple T2 Security chip." In addition to that, every monitor connected to the computer on which Ultra HD is streamed must be a 60Hz 4K capable display with a HDCP 2.2 connection.


It's not clear why Macs need a T2 security chip to play back 4K HDR content, given that Windows machines obviously don't, but it could be that this is Netflix's way of ensuring that viewers aren't trying to stream the high-definition content on older Macs, which could result in less-than-stellar performance.


The following Macs have the Apple T2 Security Chip, and can therefore 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