As we covered before, iOS 14 and tvOS 14 now support 4K video playback on YouTube for the first time. With the release of the fourth developer beta of macOS Big Sur earlier today, Mac users can finally watch 4K videos on YouTube using Safari in macOS Big Sur.
Having 4K videos on YouTube isn’t exactly new to Mac users, but this is the first time these videos can be reproduced using Safari. Previously, you had to download Google Chrome or another browser compatible with 4K on YouTube.
Starting with macOS Big Sur beta 4, users can just access YouTube in Safari to watch videos in 4K resolution instead of 720p or 1080p. However, these other options remain available along with 1440p (2K) and 2160p (4K).
The reason it was not possible to stream 4K content on YouTube using Safari before is that Apple didn’t provide support for Google’s VP9 codec. This year, the company decided to add support for the VP9 codec on iOS 14, tvOS 14, and now on macOS Big Sur.
In addition to VP9 codec support, Safari 14 also supports WebP images and HDR videos — which enables 4K HDR stream on Netflix. Apple is also working to support WebExtension API on macOS Big Sur, which is a cross-platform technology that allows users to install the same extensions on different web browsers.
Safari 14 will be available to all users this fall with the official release of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS Big Sur.
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