4K/HDR Catalina TV App movies through EGPU DisplayPort
I think this is an awesome forum and is extremely informative. You all do good work. I’m in the market for a new Mac and I have two related questions. I would like to know if a 2018 MacMini with an EGPU running Catalina can output 4K/HDR “Apple TV App Store” (formerly iTunes) video to an external monitor via DisplayPort. Has anyone tested this? If a 1440p HDR monitor is connected will the 4K/HDR content be downscaled, or will it only display the upscaled HD version without HDR?
Thank you very much in advance.
I was hoping HDR/4k support on external displays would be included with Catalina, but so far I've not been able to get it to work properly. When first initialized my Samsung CRG9 goes into SDR mode. If I change resolutions or refresh rates I've had it randomly go into HDR mode, which unlike Windows HDR mode displays the desktop normally, in fact it is almost identical to SDR mode (which makes sense since MacOS has much better wide color support than Win10). However neither chrome nor safari will playback youtube in HDR, and the Apple TV app does not seem to look any different when playing content designated HDR and 4k. (Pretty sure it is still playing back 1080p SDR content upscaled to 3440x1440) Hopefully they fix this in a future version of Catalina.
Did they negotiate licensing for 4K on PCs/Macs? My understanding was that due to the lack of a secure chain we weren't getting 4K on desktops anytime soon. Has that changed? I'm pretty sure my 4K movies only play in 1080p on my Mac. You need to use an Apple TV 4K to watch them.
MacOS Catalina can play 4K/HDR content purchased from the iTunes/Apple TV store on certain Macs. See:
(Feature Requirements - Apple TV)
This feature is not yet available in Windows, as far as I’m aware. I wasn’t sure if the feature was supported in Catalina through an EGPU, yet. Thanks for the info, @Ningauble77.
I tried it, and it doesn't appear to work. It definitely doesn't work via the eGPU, and I tried via HDMI direct from my mini to my 4k display, and it still seems to only be HD. I tried via streaming, since 4k movies only stream from Apple, regardless (no downloading), and there's no way to pick what to stream.
Thanks, @rnb2. I find this interesting. The Mac Mini was released in 2018. Apple has said Macs released after 2018 can play back 4K content from the iTunes/Apple TV store in Catalina. The fact that the Mac Mini cannot appear to do that, regardless of the EGPU, would indicate that the issue is not with the EGPU. However, I wonder since the Mac Mini is the only Mac with an HDMI port that perhaps Apple has not fully implemented the HDCP (2.2?) or other DRM necessary to play the 4K signal in the HDMI port.
Could someone try to connect a 4K monitor to a Thunderbolt port on the Mac Mini and see if it will output 4K/HDR through the TV app? If it can’t output 4K/HDR through the Thunderbolt port then it may have nothing to do with the EGPU.
My understanding is that all Mac computer have only an HDMI 1.4b port and therefore do not support HDR output
Reading in Apple supported platforms
High Dynamic Range (HDR) video playback is supported by the following Mac models:
The first two MacBook Pro and iMac pro have their internal screen, in the last case the decoder is built in the XDR screen. There is no reason why the XDR display can't play HDR with other units however is a bit expensive
It should be possible for an eGPU to display an HDR signal connecting an HDR set (I can try at home so far I have not bothered moving the eGPU to my Tv) but I bet Apple Tv app checks your set up and does not show the items as available if it does not find what he looks for
My experience has been that my Radeon VII always starts up in SDR mode with my Samsung CRG9 (which works fine in Windows in HDR), but if I hold down alt in the display control panel and switch refresh rates, it sometimes switches to HDR mode. The TV app gives no indication of playing back HDR content though, to my eye it looks identical to SDR.