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guitarguy316

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 5, 2010
374
67
Hey, I'm looking to buy either the new MBA or MBP. I tried them both in store and both can do HDR via YouTube for example on the built in display. However, after doing some research, is it true that only the MBP can output 4K HDR to an external display and NOT the new MBA?

I'm just trying to confirm if either or both do in fact output 4K HDR to an external monitor.
 

badsimian

macrumors 6502
Aug 23, 2015
374
200
I’m not sure this document has been updated since the introduction of the M1 machines. It makes sense in terms of intel machines as they were different chipsets between air and pro with differing capabilities between the in-built intel graphics. But the M1s have identical chips. Plus both air and pro M1 supports the XDR 6K screen with HDR.
 
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jdb8167

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2008
4,788
4,516
I’m not sure this document has been updated since the introduction of the M1 machines. It makes sense in terms of intel machines as they were different chipsets between air and pro with differing capabilities between the in-built intel graphics. But the M1s have identical chips. Plus both air and pro M1 supports the XDR 6K screen with HDR.
I'm tempted to connect my M1 MBA to my HDR TV just to see what it says. Seems like a lot of work though.
 

guitarguy316

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 5, 2010
374
67
Can anyone with a MBA try to plug it into a HDR capable tv and run a 4K HDR video off YouTube?
 

jdb8167

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2008
4,788
4,516
I'm tempted to connect my M1 MBA to my HDR TV just to see what it says. Seems like a lot of work though.
I was joking. It was more about the idea that I don't really care if my MBA does HDR on external monitors so any effort seemed like a lot. All jokes are better when they are explained in detail.
 

guitarguy316

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 5, 2010
374
67
I think it can be quite picky though, how were you doing it?

I just picked up a 8/8/512 MBA so I'll try it later with the official Apple connector. I'm still not sure I understand why the MBA (at least the model with the 8GPU) cannot do HDR output when it's the same hardware/processor. Again, it doesn't make sense since the hardware is physically the same between the MBA and MBP, with both only having 2 USB-C outputs. It's probably coded somewhere in the system software to disable that feature to sell more MBP models.
 

FreeWoRLD83

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2013
312
419
I just picked up a 8/8/512 MBA so I'll try it later with the official Apple connector. I'm still not sure I understand why the MBA (at least the model with the 8GPU) cannot do HDR output when it's the same hardware/processor. Again, it doesn't make sense since the hardware is physically the same between the MBA and MBP, with both only having 2 USB-C outputs. It's probably coded somewhere in the system software to disable that feature to sell more MBP models.
My first reply was based on the display adapter I have that's made by Anker.

Today, I received the official Apple display adapter and I can confirm M1 MacBook Air does output in "HDR" using Apple adapter and via HDMI.

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 8.56.54 PM.png
 
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FreeWoRLD83

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2013
312
419
For anyone reading my posts in this thread ;

I returned the official Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter immediately after receiving it and got a replacement. However, I returned that as well and got a refund finally.

It's the most unreliable device I have ever used. It would not turn on the screen and I had the screen going blank multiple times in a day with both of the adapters I tried.

So, I DO NOT RECOMMEND the above adapter at all.
 

jdb8167

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2008
4,788
4,516
For anyone reading my posts in this thread ;

I returned the official Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter immediately after receiving it and got a replacement. However, I returned that as well and got a refund finally.

It's the most unreliable device I have ever used. It would not turn on the screen and I had the screen going blank multiple times in a day with both of the adapters I tried.

So, I DO NOT RECOMMEND the above adapter at all.
Unfortunately I don't think it is the adapter. Big Sur on M1 Macs has a lot of trouble with external monitors including your symptoms. For some reason Apple doesn't seem to be able to fix it. My use of an external 24" 4K LG monitor has gotten better since I started using a USB-C dock with Display Port out but it still will not turn on the screen waking from sleep occasionally. The really weird part (and how I know it is software and not hardware) is that if I use another computer to log in using screen sharing to the M1 MacBook Air, it always turns on the screen. Why does screen sharing always do the right thing and just starting from sleep normally sometimes does not? Only Apple knows (well apparently not).
 
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theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
7,466
1,893
none
What's the reasoning behind the new Air not being HDR capable if the display is and it has the same chipset as the Pro?
Market differentiation based on price. It's also why the Air's screen has slightly worse brightness specs
 
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