Play HDR video on Mac

Support for high dynamic range (HDR) video, such as HDR movies and TV shows from Apple or other providers, requires the latest version of macOS, a compatible Mac model, and an HDR10-compatible display, TV, or projector.

Mac models that support HDR

These Mac models support HDR video on their built-in display (if applicable) and external HDR10-compatible displays.

Supported HDR formats

The built-in display and Apple Pro Display XDR support Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG. Dolby Vision and HLG are converted to HDR10 when viewed on other HDR10-compatible external displays.

Supported external HDR displays

Use an HDR10-compatible display that connects to the Thunderbolt No alt supplied for Image or HDMI port of your Mac.

If your Mac doesn't automatically enable HDR for the display, enable it in Displays settings.

Getting the best HDR picture

If HDR video doesn't play in high dynamic range or with the quality you expect, try these solutions.

Check your Mac

  • Install the latest Apple software updates for macOS Catalina or later. Some HDR features are available only with the latest macOS.

  • Choose Apple menu  > System Settings (or System Preferences), then click Displays. In Displays settings for the external display, make sure that High Dynamic Range is turned on. This setting appears only on third-party displays that support HDR10, not on built-in displays. If you don't want to use HDR on your external display, turn this setting off.

  • Choose Apple menu  > System Settings (or System Preferences), then click Battery or Energy Saver. Click the Options button, if present. If “Optimize video streaming while on battery” is turned on, your Mac saves energy by playing HDR video in standard dynamic range (SDR) while on battery power. To play in HDR, connect your Mac to power or deselect this checkbox.

  • HDR content might play at resolutions no greater than 1080p on Intel-based Mac mini, Intel-based MacBook Pro, and Intel-based MacBook Air models, depending on the HDR content and the display on which it is viewed.

Check your display

  • Some TVs support HDR only on a specific input, such as HDMI input 2 or HDMI input 3. Check your TV's documentation for details.

  • Make sure that your display supports HDR10. If the display has its own HDR setting, turn it on or set it to prefer HDR when available.

  • Make sure that your display is using the latest firmware from the manufacturer. Check your display's documentation for details.

  • In general, HDR quality is better on HDR displays that offer better brightness and contrast ratio, which results in a wider dynamic range.

Check your media

If you're playing premium content from a third-party content provider, check with the content provider to be sure that they support HDR on your Mac.

Check your cables and other devices

  • If you're using HDMI, make sure that the HDMI cable and any adapter you might be using with it both support HDR10. Apple recommends HDMI cables that have been tested with Apple TV 4K and a wide range of TVs, such as the Belkin UltraHD HDMI Cable. Compatible adapters include the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter and Belkin USB-C to HDMI Adapter.

  • If your video connection passes through an AV receiver, sound bar, or other device before connecting to your display, make sure that the device supports HDR10 and is using the latest firmware from the manufacturer. You can test by connecting your Mac directly to the display.

Check your viewing environment

The brightness and color of HDR video might vary depending on your Mac model and the lighting in your environment. Lower lighting conditions, such as in a dim room, enhance the visual effect of HDR.

Check your network

The video quality of content that you stream over a network, including over the internet, is affected by the quality of that network. To stream high-quality video formats, you need a fast connection. Apple recommends a minimum speed of 25 Mbps for 4K streaming.

For details about the HDR capabilities or settings of a third-party display, cable, or adapter, check the documentation for the product or contact the product vendor.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

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