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Safari in macOS Big Sur will stream Netflix in 4K HDR

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 20: PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 20: In this photo illustration, the Netflix media service provider's logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple MacBook Pro on November 20, 2019 in Paris, France. Netflix, the US giant of online video subscription, has more than 5 million subscribers in France, 4 and a half years after its arrival in France in September 2014. Netflix offers movies and TV series over the internet and now has 137 million subscribers worldwide. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)(Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

MacOS Big Sur may be a worthwhile upgrade if you love to marathon TV shows. As 9to5Mac reports, users have discovered that Safari in Big Sur will play Netflix videos in 4K with HDR, whether you’re using Dolby Vision or HDR10. You won’t have to switch to another browser just to see more than a plain 1080p image. The upgrade comes thanks to long-expected support for HEVC in Apple’s web browser.

You’ll have to be picky about your choice of Mac if you want the full effect, either with the Big Sur beta or the finished release this fall. HDR is currently only supported with 2018 or later MacBook Pro models, 2018 or later Mac mini systems, the iMac Pro or the Mac Pro. You’ll need an HDR-capable monitor for the Mac mini and Mac Pro, too.

All the same, this is a welcome upgrade for a browser whose media abilities have sometimes been limiting. It also reflects Apple’s more relaxed approach to 4K outside of its own services. The Apple TV will support YouTube in 4K, for instance, while AirPlay 2 will also stream in 4K from iOS 14 devices to Big Sur. It may be just a question of what you watch using that extra-high resolution.