Apple is making a number of improvements to Safari in macOS Big Sur including supporting playback of HDR videos. This change will allow Netflix users to stream content in 4K HDR with Dolby Vision on their new Macs.
While Netflix has been offering 4K content streaming support for the last few years, its content playback was limited to full HD resolution on Macs due to codec incompatibility issues. The company made use of the HEVC codec and despite newer Macs and macOS itself natively supporting HEVC, Apple never got around to updating Safari to add support for the codec.
OMG! Netflix on macOS Big Sur's Safari browser just gave me 4K Stream with Dolby Vision on MacBook Pro! Earlier it was just 1080p with Dolby Vision. This is amazing. 😌 pic.twitter.com/afUQPeKisI
— Ishan Agarwal (@ishanagarwal24) June 28, 2020
This will change with the release of Safari 14 in macOS Big Sur and will allow users to stream 4K content from Netflix with Dolby Vision. Do note though that only 2018 or newer Macs are supported, with older Macs still limited to 1080p streaming.
If you have macOS Big Sur installed on your Mac, you can start watching streaming in 4K from Netflix right away.
As we previously noted, another change that Apple has made with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 is adding support for VP9 codec. This will allow iPhone and iPad owners to stream content from YouTube in 4K resolution on their devices. These devices were previously limited to streaming content only up to Full HD resolution due to codec compatibility issues.