Seiki UHD TV as nMP monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Rich.Cohen, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Rich.Cohen macrumors regular

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    #1
    I currently have an old Mac Pro with an HP 3065 monitor that gives me 2560 X 1600 pixels. The print is a bit small at 100%, but I can increase resolution for individual documents. I need lots of pixels because I create very large drawings - data models. They can occasionally exceed 5' x 20' in size. When I zoom in to read text I need to see as much of the diagram as possible. When I zoom out I still need to make some sense of the diagram. For me larger pixels are better than small ones and the more pixels I can get the better.

    I plan to upgrade to a new Mac Pro next month. I'll probably keep my current monitor for a while, but I'd like to step up in that area also. I just came across a UHD TV from Seiki that may be just what I want. It offers 3840 X 2160 pixels. The 39" model has smaller pixels than my current monitor - not so good. The 50" model has slightly larger pixels and I think it will fit my desk. It's 32" tall so I might get a crick in my neck looking at the menu. It uses HDMI and seems to have gotten good reviews on Amazon. The price is about $1100.

    My main question is whether this is likely to work well with the new Mac Pro as my main monitor. I was hoping to get a monitor with a Thunderbolt connection, but the nMP also has HDMI so I think it will work. Any thoughts?
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #2
    The nMP is supposed to be able to drive 4k monitors, however I believe 4k over HDMI 1.4 is limited to 30Hz.
     
  3. Rich.Cohen thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    I heard of that. It would be ok for my primary use - large data models - but would be pretty poor for occasional gaming.
     
  4. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    #4
    It's a television, not a computer monitor. Refresh rate is 30Hz in 4k modes.
     
  5. Rich.Cohen thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    OK, so I'm shooting for the impossible. :) Now, if my main interest is in drawing hundreds of rectangles on my screen and occasionally moving them around with my mouse, will 30Hz kill me? I understand that animation and games are likely to look really bad, but my biggest professional need is large diagrams, large spreadsheets and Word documents. Readable screen real estate is my biggest need. I can keep one of my existing monitors for games and videos if needed.

    Using a TV as a monitor worries me, but, boy, the price is good and my need may allow me to get away with it. On the other hand, I posted here because there might be a deal breaking issue I haven't considered.

    I understood the refresh rate was 30Hz and I understand the the human eye needs at least 50 Hz for smooth motion. I have no idea how bad 30 Hz would actually look in my most significant use mode. Again I appreciate all the warnings I may receive here. If I go forward with this, I'd like it to be an informed decision.
     
  6. MacVidCards, Nov 6, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013

    MacVidCards Suspended

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    #6
    There is a thread longer than your arm at Reduser about these TVs.

    I got an Asus PQ-321 to avoid the 30Hz issue but currently there is no way to use OSX and run at 60 HZ...that I can find.
     
  7. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #7
    But for the other main use - looking at it - 30Hz is not that great.

    And you want to sit far away from it, too, because the backlight is horribly uneven.

    -

    Just wait until 4k displays (and computers that can actually drive them) arrive on the market.
     
  8. Rich.Cohen thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Thank you for the reference to Reduser. I read all the threads there that refer to the Seiki. Here is what I've learned:

    The HDMI 1.4 interface that will come with the nMP limits a 4K monitor to 30 Hz.

    30 Hz is OK for TV, but not for movies or games.

    I should be able to drive a Seiki TV from a nMP at 3840 X 2160 resolution with no flicker. I wonder what a small video on a web site would look like?

    A new interface - HDMI 2.0 is expected in early 2014. This should remove the 30 Hz limit, but the nMP has HDMI 1.4 only. I would expect a Thunderbolt to HDMI 2.0 converter, but that's a guess on my part.

    More 4K TV/monitors are expected in 2014.

    The Seiki works and it is cheep - 39" is $700.

    Re: Asus PQ-321

    That's about $3500 wit the same resolution and the same 30 Hz limit. What's the advantage that makes it worth $2800 more?
     
  9. Rich.Cohen thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    OK. I think I understand the 30 Hz limit. The Seiki would essentially be unusable for gaming and watching movies and animation. That means I keep my HP3065.

    My problem is that I want to sit close to the monitor - 24" - so I can read the fine print of my diagrams. If I'm looking at a static diagram and the exact color doesn't matter, will I face other problems? Will the uneven backlight make things hard to read?


    I'm assuming that the nMP is a computer that can drive a 4K display. I have an unusual need in that I need lots of pixels, but I'd prefer a screen size of about 45" because I want to read the fine print. With the same pixel count on a smaller screen, the fine print will probably be unreadable.

    I'd really like a Thunderbolt 2 45" 4K display, but I expect the first 4K displays will be about 30". I already have a 30" display and 50% smaller letters would be too small. I also expect that the price of the thunderbolt displays will be much more the $700.

    If anyone can suggest additional issues I should consider, I'd like to hear them.

    At present I think my plan will be to wait till the end of Jan to see what comes out. If nothing better comes along, I'm going to buy the 39" Seiki and see how it works. If I blow $600, that's no great loss and I can probably use it for something. I'd prefer an even larger screen, but the 50" may be too big for my desk top and I'm not sure it's worth the extra $500-600 for my purposes. Not a final decision, but my current leanings.
     
  10. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #10
    I can't help but wonder if Seiki might plop HDMI 2.0 into the TV in early 2014. If you're not in a hurry, I'd wait to see what happens now that HDMI chips are available to manufacturers. An HDMI 2.0 TV would enable normal refresh rates should a TB-HDMI2 adapter appear. Even if that never materializes, you'll be set up for nMP2.

    I feel like 4K at 30Hz is this awkward step only for those who absolutely cannot wait (maybe that's your case), and "normal" 4K is just around the corner.
     
  11. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #11
    The limit lies within the HDMI 1.4 interface of both the TV and the Mac. The Asus features a DisplayPort 1.2 connection, which the latest Retina MacBook Pro (and soon the nMP) is able to drive at full resolution and at 60Hz, as Thunderbolt 2 also updates DisplayPort.

    The problem is that 30Hz will increase eyestrain compared to 60Hz. Movies actually have 24Hz and 30Hz refresh rates. And if you ask gamers, anything below a refresh rate of 50MHz is not suitable for games.

    [​IMG]


    Maybe an on-screen loupe like Zoom It is for you, as a 50" 4K display/TV has pixels as large as a 24" 1080p display.

    Actually, the sizes Asus had in mind were 31.5" and 39". The 39" model was supposed to be release last quarter, but after it's introduction in January it was never heard of again.
     
  12. Rich.Cohen thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    You have a point. I've been wanting a larger screen with more pixels for nearly a year, but it isn't a must have. I can manage on my current screen indefinitely. Learning of the Seiki and its price got me thinking the time was right. I may choose to sit on my hands beyond January.

    ----------

    Ah, ha! DisplayPort 1.2 does sound like a good idea. Another reason to wait for the next round of TV/monitors.

    Is eyestrain an issue for static displays or only for things like games?

    Thanks for the picture. I can see the problem. I might be able to live with it, but you've encouraged me to be a bit more patient.

    For what I do that sort of thing won't work and might even get in the way.


    Sounds like another reason to wait a bit. A 39" monitor would be a good size for me.

    Thanks again.
     

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