How to Change Apple TV+ Playback Quality on Mac

May 15, 2021 - 2 Comments

How to Change Apple TV+ Playback Quality on Mac

Do you want to save some of your valuable internet data while you’re binging shows on Apple TV+? You’re certainly not alone, but you can do this by simply changing the playback or streaming quality for the Apple TV app installed on your Mac.

Whether you’re paying for Apple TV+ or you’re simply just taking advantage of the free one-year subscription, you need a decently fast internet connection in addition to adequate data for Apple TV+ to function properly. If your connection is slow or unstable, you’ll likely run into buffering issues. Or, if you do have a fast internet connection with a data cap, you might want to keep an eye on the internet usage, as Apple TV+ eats up data just like any other streaming service.

Fortunately, Apple allows users to adjust the quality of their Apple TV+ streams if they’re looking to conserve their data or have a slow bandwidth. And we’ll show you how to make this adjustment on your Mac (and yes, you can adjust playback quality on iPhone an iPad too

How to Adjust Playback Quality for Apple TV+ on Mac

Adjusting the playback quality of the content streamed on Apple TV+ is a pretty simple and straightforward procedure on macOS systems. Just follow the steps below to get started.

  1. Open the “Apple TV” app on your Mac from the Dock, Applications folder, etc.

    How to Change Apple TV+ Playback Quality on Mac
  2. Once the app launches, click on the “TV” option in the menu bar and choose “Preferences” from the dropdown menu.

    How to Change Apple TV+ Playback Quality on Mac
  3. This will open a new window on your screen. Click on the “Playback” tab as shown in the screenshot below.

    How to Change Apple TV+ Playback Quality on Mac
  4. Here, click on the Streaming Quality option located right at the top.

    How to Change Apple TV+ Playback Quality on Mac
  5. Now, you’ll have the option to choose between “Good”, “Better”, and “Best Available” quality according to your preference. By default, Apple TV app is set to use the best available quality. Click on “OK” to save your changes.

    How to Change Apple TV+ Playback Quality on Mac

That’s pretty much all there is to it. Now you know how easy it is to change the playback quality for the content streamed on Apple TV+ in macOS.

In the same menu, you also have the option to adjust the download quality for the content that’s downloaded from the Apple TV app. By default, “up to HD” is selected. However, you can change this to SD or the most compatible format, if preferred.

In terms of bandwidth usage, there are some rough estimates that Apple TV+ consumes about 2 GB of data for streaming an hour’s worth of content on the “Best Available” setting. Streaming at the “Good” setting would consume only 750 MB of data, on the other hand. Total data consumption can depend on a variety of things, including what shows you’re watching, but these bandwidth numbers are on par with what you’d see for other streaming HD services too.

Do you use other Apple devices like the iPhone or iPad? If so, you’ll be pleased to know that you can indeed change the playback quality of Apple TV+ on your iOS devices as well to save your internet data. The lowest quality setting would allow you to watch a couple of episodes over cellular network before you run out of data.

Did you adjust the streaming setting or turn the streaming quality down a notch on Apple TV+? What do you think about this quality setting and how often do you use it? Do let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section down below.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. bst. says:

    That’s an older version of macOS, in big sur it’s completely different. It has 2 options “data saver” or “4k”

  2. Floris says:

    It really can’t get any simpler. Any program you have you can almost certainly go to preferences (cmd and ,) and there’s some personalization options there. Some for performance, some for security and privacy, some for specific behaviors. Super handy for any app to go through.

    A while ago I think I looked into this and thank you for reminding me. I just went to double check if it was set to best, I have a 1 gbit connection so it’s free to send whatever the best it can do for my 5k imac screen.

    Bring it on apple! haha.

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