A New Mac Mini With 4K HDR TV???

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by georose, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. georose macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2018
    I have nursed along my mid 2011 Mac Mini for quite a while and added a 500 GB SSD a couple of years ago and boosted it into the "modern era" of my late 2013 MacBook Pro as far as fast start ups and app loading. Of course any Mac Mini has not kept up with the times and is of lesser use with newer 4K UHD TV's or monitors regardless of the model year. Forget retina displays, this is 2018 going on 2019. Windows allows for Hi Def displays for quite a while now. There is no adjusting for screen res or font size "on the fly" on any Mac Mini model. The preference panel is a total kludge.

    Yep, I'm in the small minority that's left when it comes to using a Mac Mini for use with an entertainment/high end audio system. The Mini still works for my Hi Def music over HDMI or USB but trying to view Google Earth in all its glory means laborious switching from 720p for text to 1080p for earth views. Wouldn't 4K be something - probably overkill for Google Earth but don't get me started about looking at photos on a 70 inch screen or God forbid Netflix in Hi Def. Oh well I can do the latter with a Roku or built in TV apps but it's a pain to end up a button pusher needlessly - if only a track pad and keyboard was an alternative. I guess that is coming to an XBOX One soon - hmm?

    It is unlikely that any new Mac Mini will address the above issues and will probably remain the same when it comes to monitor or TV choices. Most any new TV comes with 10 bit color and 4K these days. What can we expect from Apple? Eat your heart out as Google Earth Pro is available in 4K!

    In the meantime, my senile Mac Mini recognizes the name of my new TV but can't "remember" that it's a 4K HDR monster! A better CPU, SSD and Thunderbolt 3 are not going to solve the problem. Ironically, not including a monitor should make it a cake walk for Apple to make progress on this front.
  2. krause734 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    If Apple won't do it, a Windows or Linux PC will. The Intel NUC for instance. I use my computer in the same way as you and I am looking forward to a new Mac Mini. But if it's not impressive and affordable, I'm happy with my Intel NUCs.
  3. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    If I don't have an 4k TV, will I even need HDR? I want to buy this Mac mini although a friend is trying to talk me out of it with YT having 4k content. I probably won't be buying a 4k TV for quite a while.
  4. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Apple actually fixed this in 2011/2012, but they didn't tell anyone. With a new feature called HiDPI:


    HiDPI turns non retina screens into virtual retina, making interface elements (like text) 4x larger. Graphic elements like photos and videos and maps stay the same, so you don't have to switch back and forth any more.

    This app enables HiDPI more easily than other options and you don't need knew hardware:

  5. georose thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2018
    Thanks for the tip. I had no idea this was available. I will check and see if it works with my mid 2011. I swapped my HDD for a 512 GB Samsung SSD and it gave new life fo my Mini. I did this a couple of years ago when SSD's were more expensive and its cost was less than and up.grade would be on the new Mac Mini. Granted the drive is SATA but the performance increase was monstrous. I would like but have no big need for higher performance with the newer drivs interfaces and will use my old Mini until realistic pricing for storage becomes available on the new Mini. 4K will have to wait a while longer for me.
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Sure thing. I’ve been running HiDPI continuously for 6 years (with a 2010). The only drawback is when a model window it to tall and doesn’t offer scrolling.

    Keep it until you are ready for a 4K tv.
  7. georose thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2018
    I tried the app and the 16:9 aspect ratio for my 4K UHD TV may be a problem since they are not the same as a Mac Retina display. I didn't pay for the app since the additional aspect ratios didn't seem appropriate for a TV. Also, any "automatic" changes with the TV resolution or "pixel depth" seem to be dependent on scripting and short cut keys. I know my MacBook Pro's retina display offers automatic resolution changes for photos, Google Earth, etc. I also know that Netflix at least offers full 1080p on my Chromebook at the same time that the default resolution is much lower.

    In short, I am puzzled as to how Netflix seems to be able to set a higher resolution automatically on a lowly Chromebook. I also wonder how my MacBook Pro can display hi def photos or video and full size text without me having to do anything.

    720p on my Mac Mini just doesn't work that well for high def, and not at all for 4K resolution on my TV. It seems the same display problem would exist for the new Mini vs the old. It really seems to be mainly a text size choice as my Mac Mini goes through all kinds of changes for window sizes and delays when switching resolutions.

    My Mini is still useful with my TV as a backup computer, for Hi Def audio and when I have an "audience" viewing. For sure, personal videos are best on a TV and no discs needed.

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6 October 23, 2018