Everything You Need to Watch Netflix in 4K on Your Mac

Illustration for article titled Everything You Need to Watch Netflix in 4K on Your Mac

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When Apple launches macOS Big Sur later this year, the new Safari 14 update will finally allow Mac users to stream Netflix in 4K HDR. But while macOS Big Sur is going to hit a wide variety of Mac desktops and laptops, only a subset of them will actually have the necessary hardware to stream Netflix content in 4K HDR.

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Only these Apple products support 4K Netflix (for now)

According to a Netflix support document recently unearthed by Apple Terminal, only Macs with a T2 Security chip can transcode HEVC video fast enough to support 4K Netflix. The list of supported devices currently includes:

  • 2018 (or newer) MacBook Pro
  • 2018 (or newer) MacBook Air
  • 2018 Mac mini
  • 2019 Mac Pro
  • 2020 iMac
  • iMac Pro

If you own one of the listed models, you’ll be able to watch 4K Netflix after installing macOS Big Sur and Safari 14. The Big Sur update isn’t quite ready for public release as of this writing, but you can try it out early by downloading the developer beta right now.

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Note that only Safari 14 can play Netflix in 4K on Mac; all other browsers will play in HD resolutions. You’ll also need to have a Netflix Premium subscription ($16 per month) to even have the option to access Netflix’s 4K streams, and you’ll need to have a reasonably strong internet connection for the streaming to even work (25Mbps at minimum). Make sure your home network is up to the task.

Supported MacBook and iMac models will be able to play the video natively on their displays, but you’ll need to be using a 4K HDR monitor or TV (with HDCP 2.2) to watch with a Mac mini or Mac Pro.

This article has been updated with clearer hardware requirements and more supported devices.

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