Netflix claims to have the largest library of 4K content, but if you’re hoping to do some 4K Netflix streaming on your Mac, the company has announced a surprising specification requirement: you need a Mac with a T2 security chip …
Netflix posted the requirements on a support site.
Netflix is available in Ultra HD on Macs. To stream in Ultra HD you need:
A Mac computer with MacOS 11.0 Big Sur installed.
The latest version of the Safari browser
Choose a Mac from 2018 or later with an Apple T2 Security chip
A 60Hz 4K compatible monitor (with HDCP 2.2 connection if external monitor).
Of course, you also need an UltraHD plan, as well as a broadband speed of 25 Mbps or better.
The streaming video company does not explain the reason for the T2 chip requirement, but leads to some confused Reddit users.
“It simply came to our notice then. The only Macs that can really benefit from 4k streaming without an external monitor are 4k and 5k iMacs, but only 2 models (Pro and the new 2020 27 ″) will be able to stream it. Windows computers do not have any kind of T2 option, and are still able to stream 4k via Edge or via the original app, their only requirement is a 7th generation Intel CPU or a dedicated graphics card. Does anyone know why that is? “
“This is pretty transgressive IMO. I now have a machine that is perfectly capable of 4K streaming, but is arbitrarily limited because it does not have T2. This is pretty anti-consumer, even for Apple. ”
The most likely theory seems to be studios insisting on stronger protection of Digital Rights Management (DRM) against content ripping. Reddit users note that there are also specific chip requirements for 4K Netflix streaming on Windows PCs.
“Hollywood demands that it be decrypted via hardware. Windows users cannot view 4K content without a supported processor (Kaby Lake and later), so it̵7;s not unique to Apple. Be angry at Hollywood, not Apple. ”
“This is not an Apple choice. The video providers (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.) do not allow the videos to be played without DRM, and DRM is built into T2. ”
4K Netflix on Windows also requires specific hardware introduced with Intel’s Kaby Lake:
Intel 7th generation Core CPU (i3, i5 or i7 models in the 7xxx or 7Yxx series) or later, or an NVIDIA GPU that meets these requirements. ”
“Microsoft offers another method of DRM. (PlayReady I think). Apple’s method involves the T2 chip. ”
Some Reddit users think it is a counterproductive move, claiming that setting conditions relatively few computers and monitors can fulfill will simply lead people back to piracy.
FTC: We use auto affiliate links. More.
Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news: