Mac mini for 4K considerations

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by gigatoaster, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. gigatoaster macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Location:
    Singapore
    #1
    Hello there

    I just bought a TV: Panasonic TH-55FZ950S. I am considering buying a Mac mini (new one if announced) and I will use it also for Roon Core. It will be connected via USB to Teac AI-503 & KEF R300.

    It looks like that:

    IMG_7556.JPG

    I have a few questions:

    1. Can I connect the Mac mini, watch the TV via HDMI and get the sound at the same time via USB on the speakers?
    2. For 4k @ 60 Hz, I understand the Mac mini is capable of doing it. Do I need a special HDMI cable?
    3. If you are using a Mac mini is a new 4K OLED TV, could you share some feedback?
    4. Is it possible to watch Netflix on the website in HDR through Mac Mini at 4k @ 60 Hz?
    5. If the Mac mini is not a got choice for this, what would be the alternative?


    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. opeter macrumors 68000

    opeter

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    Slovenia, EU
    #2
    The answer is mostly NO for all questions. Wait for the new model (if it arrives at end of October).
     
  3. gigatoaster thread starter macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

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    #3
    Ok. Well if a new model comes, I hope it will be powerful enough to play 4K.

    What are the alternatives?
     
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #4
    What are you hoping to do with a Mini in this application that can't be done with an Apple TV or some other 4k streaming box? Trying to interact with a Mac to watch Netflix on a TV is far less convenient than using something purpose built for TV use.
     
  5. gigatoaster thread starter macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

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    #5
    It’s because I want to use uTorrent, Roon for thé music and I prefer not to stream to the TV but use HDMI + Ethernet for the best PQ.

    I’d like to have one source but flexible to do everything.

    Not sure if that makes sense.
     
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #6
    I’ve run a mini as htpc for years
    A few thoughts

    If you can stream it with a MacBook it will stream from the mini but Mac doesn’t have apps (yet) so test it out. Depending on the service you may want to supplement with appletv

    Sound controls are excellent. Sound prefs allows specific routing and midi can even operate two outputs with independent volume, say hdmi + Bluetooth headphones

    The OS is not meant to view from 10 ft away. Familiarize yourself with HiDPI mode and how to activate it

    Dark mode is your friend. Make sure to use nightshift or flux as well. Mac can turn your tv into a sleep safe tv no normal head units can supply.

    The mini will be sitting idle hours a day. Give it other duties like a household iTunes, iOS backup, and file service.

    The key questions when new mini debuts are what hdmi version it supports and what video card.
     
  7. gigatoaster thread starter macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

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    Jul 22, 2018
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    Singapore
    #7
    Thanks for answer. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer and share your knowledge. I appreciate it even more after the previous bloke just went to “no” in capital letters with no explanations.

    OK for the Apple TV. I need to check with my new TV if I can connect it to HDMI, then deport the sound from the TV to the amp through digital optical to get the sound on the speakers.

    Now the question is: what would be the benefit of the Apple TV, here? Like I mean what’s the purpose?

    Regarding the OS, I connected yesterday the MacBook Pro via HDMI + dongle. It’s very weird: the desktop is huge and texts so small. If you could clarify what is HiDP mode, how to activate it and if it can avoid having ants fonts, that’ll be helpful.

    Then, sorry but I’m not following with night shift. Is it the thing to avoid blue-ish colors? And what is Flux?

    For HDMI, if I understand correctly it needs to support 4K resolutions at 60 Hz, right? What about HDR?
    --- Post Merged, Oct 16, 2018 ---
    I just read about HiDP here. Just to clarify I can use this mode for font and still display the proper 4K resolution of a movie, right?
     
  8. EightyTwenty macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    #8
    The 2014 Mac Mini cannot handle 4K properly. Don’t even think about trying it.

    And HiDP will not affect movies played from you MacBook Pro. They will play in 4K.
     
  9. opeter macrumors 68000

    opeter

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    Slovenia, EU
    #9
    Because the "current" Mac mini is simply not good for your needs. 4K @ 60 Hz is simply a no go.
    That is, why I wrote the "no" in capital letters. And that is, where this was the answer for most of your questions.

    * * *

    However I can try to answer you the first question:
    1. Can I connect the Mac mini, watch the TV via HDMI and get the sound at the same time via USB on the speakers?

    In theory, this should work. But you need a 3rd party app for choosing the sound outputs, because macOS isn't flexible enough for that. And maybe you need to use an external USB soundcard (the cheap generic chinese stuff should work).

    Here is an application for choosing outputs:
    Rogue Amoeba SoundSource
    https://rogueamoeba.com/soundsource/

    And here is a standard tip to choose the sound in macOS:
    How to instantly switch audio sources in OS X
     
  10. gigatoaster thread starter macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

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    #10
    Ok. Thanks

    So I wait for a new Mac mini or I take a NUC.
     
  11. opeter macrumors 68000

    opeter

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    #11
    Your welcome. I also wait 'till the end of October if there will be any new announcements ...
     
  12. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    Oregon, USA
    #12
    Here’s a guide I wrote some years back

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?332748

    HiDPI makes text 4x larger but doesn’t effect video, which stays crisp. Get ‘display menu’ from the App Store to make it easy to enable. IINA video player even has check box to ignore it or not

    Apple TV is an app machine, like putting iOS on your tv. The purpose is get access to specific apps like hbo. The choice between them comes down to where your content is. You can’t watch hbo on Mac.

    I suggest using your mbp as a practice mini. Run it connected for a few weeks. During which time mini may be updated. If it works out for you, mini can provide a dedicated Mac OS experience.

    Flux is only needed if you can’t enable nightshift.
     
  13. gigatoaster thread starter macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

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  14. FlyingTexan macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2015
    #14
    I'd be shocked if it didn't have the intel chip with Vega graphics. It's made for laptops and very powerful for what you get.
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

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    #15
    Even the UHD630 gpu in the Coffee Lake chips will handle 4k HDR video with no problem provided the software uses gpu-decoding and Apple doesn't hamstring the HDMI/mDP.
     
  16. gigatoaster thread starter macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

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  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

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    #17
    Well, for one, Apple has disabled passthrough of Atmos and DTS-X. I don't think you can even get HDR. You'd need an Apple TV for HDR and Atmos (but no DTS-X).
     
  18. gigatoaster thread starter macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

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    #18
    Oh really, It is not possible to play a 4k HDR movie through a MacBook Pro for instance?
     
  19. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

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    #19
    Some software is written to do it (e.g. VLC 3) but I have not seen any reports where it works on Macs.
     
  20. gigatoaster thread starter macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

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    #20
    With Apple TV, can I play BDMV or m2ts? Anyone tried on 4k HDR movie found on torrent sites?
     
  21. gigatoaster thread starter macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

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    #21
    The new Mac mini seems to answer my need. I hope it will work fine for 4K movies. Also HDR, you think?
     
  22. dyzfnctional, Oct 30, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018

    dyzfnctional macrumors regular

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    Aug 6, 2008
    #22
    Is there a difference if i connect hdmi or thunderbolt 3 to my OLED 4K tv?
     
  23. gigatoaster thread starter macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

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    Jul 22, 2018
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    #23
    I don't think so. But you would need a dongle, I guess. In that case, better use a HDMI cable. It has to be certified "High Speed 4K" I think to handle 4k resolution at 60 Hz.

    Now the question remains: will it be possible with the correct cable, my TV (in signature) and the Mac mini 2018 to play 4K HDR torrent files? Will the TV recognizes the HDR?

    I am afraid of stutter, too.
     
  24. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    #24
    I did a bit of googling on your behalf, and found it is possible to stream 4k hdr mkv to the apple tv through plex. You will of course need to have quality internet (recommend hard wiring).
     
  25. gigatoaster thread starter macrumors regular

    gigatoaster

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
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    Singapore
    #25
    Ah thanks.

    But I’ll get a new Mac mini, but it is not available in my country, yet.

    I prefer this than an Apple TV as I can use the mini for Roon & uTorrent.

    Do we know if HiDP is supported on Mojave?
     

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31 October 16, 2018