A lot of older Macs won’t be able to watch 4K Netflix this fall due to an older chip

MacOS Big Sur, Apple’s upcoming release of the Mac operating system, will finally let you watch 4K HDR Netflix content, but it is revealed that it will only work in 2018 or later Mac with Apple’s T2 security chip, a new Netflix According to the document Apple terminal).

This means that the complete list of Macs that can watch 4K content on Netflix is, at least for now, as follows:

  • iMac (2020)
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac Pro (2019)
  • Mac Mini (2018)
  • MacBook Air (2018 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (2018 or later)

An easy way to test whether your Mac has a T2 chip, as Apple states on its website.

Disappointingly, older iMacs and pre-2018 Mac laptops that could theoretically play Netflix 4K content, whether on their built-in display or via a 4K or 5K external monitor, would not be able to. It’s unclear why the T2 security chip is needed: Netflix was not an immediate answer for us, and Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

But if we had to guess, the T2 chip can handle 4K content better because it works as a co-processor. According to a marketing slide from Apple’s October 2018 event, the T2 chip has video processing power, including support for the built-in HEVC codec. On its website for the latest iMac, Apple says that the T2 chip “makes HEVC video transcoding up to twice that of the previous generation.”

We’re not sure if Netflix uses HEVC for these high res streams, but if it does, perhaps the T2 chip is important in helping 4K Netflix play smoothly on a Mac.

Image: Apple’s October 2018 event video (YouTube)

If you want to watch 4K Netflix and get Mac compatible once Mac Mac Big Sur falls, you’ll also need to subscribe to Netflix’s $ 15.99 per month premium plan. And you can only watch 4K Netflix content using Safari, not other browsers, according to Netflix’s Support Doctor.

Mac users aren’t the only ones with specific requirements to watch 4K Netflix, though: On Windows, you need to be on Windows 10, using Microsoft Edge or the Netflix app, a machine with 4K-capable displays and a powerful enough. with. CPU or GPU

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