Netflix has been streaming 4K HDR content for years, but Mac users have never been able to watch at that quality. MacOS Big Sur, however, will change that when it officially releases for Macs sometime later this year.
Apple recently announced the Big Sur operating system update for Macs, and we’ve already started rounding up the biggest changes it brings here. But eagle-eyed Apple watchers at 9to5Mac have spotted the new version of Safari in Big Sur introduces several enhancements of its own, including support for HDR videos on a Mac as well as support for 4K HDR content from Netflix, specifically.
Mac users were previously limited to 1080p resolution on Netflix due to hardware limitations, as the platform relied on the HEVC codec. Newer Mac models, though, are compatible with HEVC. Apple simply needed to update Safari to support it. With MacOS Big Sur, which is now available as a beta for developers to test, Mac users can finally watch Netflix in 4K and with Dolby Vision and HDR10.
According to Apple, to get started streaming Netflix in 4K HDR, you’ll need to ensure your Mac is a 2018 model or later and running the new Safari web browser. Older Mac models with Safari can still only play 1080p videos on Netflix, even with MacOS Big Sur installed on the machine.