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

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.

macosbigsur
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

macOS Big Sur is now up to its ninth public beta, and is likely to officially debut sometime this month.

Tag: Netflix
Related Forum: macOS Big Sur

Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
26 months ago
T2 has hardware acceleration capabilities for video. That’s why it’s required.

With Windows, it’s possible but you’re going to lose out on performance and battery life since it’ll probably use software decoding. Apple thinks that’s bad UX so they put a requirement on.

EDIT: for those who don't believe:



Attachment Image
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fromsixtozero Avatar
26 months ago

T2 has hardware acceleration capabilities for video. That’s why it’s required.

With Windows, it’s possible but you’re going to lose out on performance and battery life since it’ll probably use software decoding. Apple thinks that’s bad UX so they put a requirement on.
Well at least they could give me the choice to lose battery life or performance and display a pop up "Your mac is old, performance might suck, switch to full hd"

Still don´t believe macs from 2015/2017 couldnt play it, when my medicore TV from 2015 can.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
26 months ago

terrible explanation....T2 has nothing to do with playing video. the decoding is all handled with the GPU , intel gpu's all have hardware decoders. matter in fact. i just tried this on both my macbook pro's one with t2 and one without. the cpu load was the same.

bs.
Stupid comment. T2 literally has a hardware HEVC codec built right in. Please educate yourself next time before calling "bs".


Attachment Image
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JoelTheSuperior Avatar
26 months ago

Stupid comment. T2 literally has a hardware HEVC codec built right in. Please educate yourself next time before calling "bs".

The T2 chip does have a video encoder built in, and it is genuinely fantastic, but it is by no means required for the DRM on Netflix's 4k content which works just fine on a Windows PC with an appropriate video encoder, either on the Intel CPU or an Nvidia graphics card.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sebosz Avatar
26 months ago
*laughs in 2018 macbook pro*
But for real though, that's a pretty ****** move. My "old" Asus from 2017 could do this...
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
26 months ago

Or is it a DRM limitation, not necessarily performance?
both

Safari’s FairPlay DRM uses an AES algorithm which is accelerated by T2’s built in AES crytpo engine
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tim cook spring loaded event

Six Major Products to Expect From Apple in 2023

Sunday September 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we're also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more. Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
Stage Manager Extension Thumb 1

New iPadOS 16.1 Beta Expands Stage Manager to Older iPad Pro Models, Delays External Display Support

Tuesday September 27, 2022 10:24 am PDT by
The most recent beta of iPadOS 16.1 expands the controversial Stage Manager feature to older iPads, allowing it to work with iPad Pro models that have an A12X or A12Z chip, according to information Apple provided to Engadget. The beta also removes the external display support from Stage Manager for the current time, with the feature set to return in a later iPadOS 16 update. Apple's...
iOS 16

Everything New in the Latest iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 Betas: Stage Manager Expansion, Wallpaper Tweaks and More

Tuesday September 27, 2022 11:36 am PDT by
Apple today released new betas of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 to developers, tweaking some of the functionality that's been introduced in prior betas and in the case of iPadOS 16.1, adding a major new feature to Stage Manager. We've rounded up everything new in both betas below. Wallpaper Updates Apple has updated the Wallpaper section of the Settings app to allow users to swap between...
john meyer ultra

Apple Watch Ultra Praised by Watch World Tastemaker John Mayer

Monday September 26, 2022 4:42 am PDT by
Apple Watch Ultra has been endorsed by American musician and famous watch collector John Mayer, who has been showing off the new device on his Instagram account. "Been wearing the Apple Watch Ultra for a week... and it's great," writes Mayer over a photo of the watch. "The first Apple Watch that excited me as a mechanical watch collector." "It's loaded with capability and what I call...