Play HDR video on your Mac

These Mac models support HDR video on HDR10-compatible displays, including televisions and projectors.

Broad 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 and a compatible Mac model. If your Mac, display, video cable, or video cable adapter doesn't support HDR10, video plays in standard dynamic range (SDR).

Mac models that support HDR

Mac model
with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)

Built-in
display

External display
with DisplayPort

External display
with HDMI

MacBook Pro introduced in 2018 or later HDR1 HDR HDR2
MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later HDR1 SDR SDR
iMac introduced in 2020 HDR HDR HDR
iMac Pro HDR HDR HDR
Mac mini introduced in 2018 HDR1 HDR3
Mac Pro introduced in 2019 HDR HDR
1. Premium HDR content from Apple plays at resolutions up to 1080p (1920 x 1080).
2. If using Apple's adapter with HDMI on some 13-inch models, HDR content plays at resolutions up to 1080p.
3. All HDR content plays at resolutions up to 1080p.

External displays. Use the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports on your Mac to connect to external HDR10-compatible displays:

When an external display tells your Mac that it supports HDR10, your Mac might automatically enable HDR for that display. You can also enable or disable HDR for external displays in Displays preferences.

 


Getting the best HDR picture

If HDR video doesn't play in HDR 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 Preferences, click Displays, then make sure that High Dynamic Range is selected. It appears only on third-party displays that support HDR10, not on built-in displays. If you don't want to use HDR, deselect this checkbox.
  • Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Energy Saver. If ”Optimize video streaming while on battery power” is selected in the Battery tab, your Mac saves energy by playing HDR video in SDR while on battery power. To play in HDR, connect your Mac to power or deselect this checkbox.
    Energy Saver preferences

Check your external display

  • 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.
  • Some televisions support HDR only on a specific input, such as HDMI input 2 or HDMI input 3. Check its documentation for details.

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 adapter support HDR10. Apple recommends HDMI cables that have been tested with Apple TV 4K and a wide range of televisions, 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 may 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.

 


Learn more

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