Netflix’s support page for Mac users, specifies that the subscribers can only stream 4K videos on the Mac with Apple T2 Security chip, macOS 11.0 Big Sur, updated Safari browser, and other requirements. These requirements considerably narrow down the subscriber base for Ultra HD content/plan on the streaming services.
The Apple T2 Security Chip is the company’s second-generation custom silicon for Mac. The chip is designed to deliver new capabilities to Mac like a secure enclave processor for Touch ID data, encrypted storage, secure boot, FaceTime HD camera, and more. Maybe the new level of security and HD camera capabilities of the T2 chip compelled Netflix to make it a pre-requisite for 4K streaming.
Netflix’s Requirements For Ultra HD on Mac
The video streaming service has listed down the system and plan requirements for Mac users to watch its 4K content on its support page.
- A Mac computer with macOS 11.0 Big Sur installed.
- The latest version of Safari browser
- Select 2018 or later Mac computer with an Apple T2 Security chip
- A 60Hz 4K capable display (with HDCP 2.2 connection if external display). *Every monitor connected to your computer must meet these requirements to successfully stream in Ultra HD.
- 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. More information about video quality settings can be found in our Playback Settings article
With the aforementioned specifications, the following Macs with Apple T2 chip can stream 4k videos on Netflix:
- iMac – 2020
- iMac Pro
- Mac Pro – 2019
- Mac mini – 2018
- MacBook Air – 2018 or later
- MacBook Pro – 2018 or later
Netflix subscribers are not happy with the Mac requirements. Some took to the popular social media platform Reddit to express their opinions. While many blamed Apple for the T2 chip requirement, others pointed out that it’s Hollywood’s demand to ensure stronger Digital Rights Management (DRM) for 4K content to prevent piracy. It was also explained that Windows users also need specific hardware to stream Ultra HD.
“Hollywood is demanding that it is decrypted via hardware. Windows users cannot watch 4K content either without a supported processor (Kaby Lake and later) so it’s not unique to Apple. Be mad at Hollywood, not Apple.”