4K/HDR Catalina TV App movies through EGPU DisplayPort
 

4K/HDR Catalina TV App movies through EGPU DisplayPort  

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AndySpeed
(@andyspeed)
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Hello-

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.

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Ningauble77
(@ningauble77)
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@andyspeed

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.

This post was modified 3 months ago

2019 16 Macbook Pro + Core v2 + Radeon VII MacOS 10.15.1
Core X Chroma + RTX 2080 Windows 10 1909


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Naylia
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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.

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AndySpeed
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MacOS Catalina can play 4K/HDR content purchased from the iTunes/Apple TV store on certain Macs. See:

https://www.macworld.com/article/3444585/8-hidden-features-of-macos-catalina.html

and 

https://support.apple.com/kb/SP803?locale=en_US

(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.

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aestivalis
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Does the TV app at least stream 4k if not HDR?

 

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AndySpeed
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Has anyone tried 10.15.2 to see if 4K/HDR works through EGPU?

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rnb2
 rnb2
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@andyspeed

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.

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AndySpeed
(@andyspeed)
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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.

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(@massimo_franzese)
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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

Apple TV
High Dynamic Range (HDR) video playback is supported by the following Mac models:

MacBook Pro (2018 or newer)
iMac Pro (2017)
Mac Pro (2019) with Pro Display XDR

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

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Ningauble77
(@ningauble77)
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@massimo_franzese

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.

2019 16 Macbook Pro + Core v2 + Radeon VII MacOS 10.15.1
Core X Chroma + RTX 2080 Windows 10 1909


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joevt
(@joevt)
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@massimo_franzese

Mac mini has HDMI 2.0 output but it's connected to Intel graphics supporting DisplayPort 1.2 which doesn't support HDR.

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(@massimo_franzese)
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@joevt

That is true however HMDI 2.0 does not support HDR you need HDMI 2.0a for HDR-10 and 2.0b for HLG which map I guess to displayport 1.3. I am pretty sure that from Apple Tv you won't be able to get an HDR file it will be blocked by your system incompatibility. It also does not play HDR from YouTube through eGPU nor recognised any of the HDR-10 flags, I have a Lenovo windows laptop and with that one I get HDR with Apple I get HDR simulated.

The XDR display has a decoder built in so should work with any mac if there is a limitation is imposed by Apple but I am not sure who would spend that amount of money

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(@massimo_franzese)
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yesterday I downloaded a show as i have a complimentary Tv+ account and the download was SD....long way to HDR!

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joevt
(@joevt)
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@massimo_franzese

The shows that have HDR have an HDR icon. I downloaded an HDR movie from Apple TV, but I don't know what to do with it. What app/devices can play HDR, how do I know that I'm seeing HDR? I need to do some research.

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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itsage
(@itsage)
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My experience with HDR in Windows has been similar to 3D of the past. Can’t imagine macOS to be better. You need all the right hardware components and software pieces in order to make it work.

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joevt
(@joevt)
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Actually, the movie I downloaded is only 1920x1032 but it's supposed to be 4K.... I don't get it. They don't let you have 4K on all Macs? https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT207949
Says you can't download 4K - you have to stream it. I guess that just leaves the HDR question. How do I know if I downloaded an HDR version? QuickTime Player just says "AVC0 Media HD (1-1-1) Stereo (L R), MPEG-4 AAC, 48000 Hz 1920 x 1032 6.37 Mbit/s"

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joevt
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@itsage

I have a TV that can do 3D. I connected my PC with Nvidia 3D TV Play or whatever it's called and tried some stuff like World of Warcraft and Unigine Valley. It's kind of a fun gimmick. Haven't tried it in a long time though. Also have a Playstation VR packed away somewhere. That was even more fun. Some Youtube movies are 3D (for the 3D TV). Some are 360° or 180° (for the Playstation VR).

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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(@massimo_franzese)
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Posted by: @joevt

@massimo_franzese

The shows that have HDR have an HDR icon. I downloaded an HDR movie from Apple TV, but I don't know what to do with it. What app/devices can play HDR, how do I know that I'm seeing HDR? I need to do some research.

Mine had an HDR icon but downloaded SD you go figure

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(@massimo_franzese)
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@joevt

it does not even tell you if it is streaming 4K or other

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(@massimo_franzese)
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News of the day the app checks that you have a HDCP 2.2 compatible display attached

I guess it has no logic to go through the eGPU and hence it defaults to SD all over?

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joevt
(@joevt)
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@massimo_franzese

The AGDCDiagnose command lists some of the HDCP related DPCD registers. These are described in the HDCP on DisplayPort specs at https://www.digital-cp.com/hdcp-specifications

For example:

  Reg: 068028: 01 : HDCP_CAPABLE: 1, REPEATER: 0
  Reg: 06921d: 02 : VERSION: 2 
  Reg: 06921f: 02 : HDCP_CAPABLE: 1, REPEATER: 0
  Reg: 069330: 00 : HDCP_Depth: 0 
  Reg: 069331: 00 : HDCP_count: 0  HDCP2_0 Downstream: 0 HDCP1 Downstream: 0
  Reg: 069493: 00 : Ready: 0 , H' Available: 0, Pairing_available: 0 , Reauth_req: 0, Link Integrity: 0 

Search in the spec for 0x6921d

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(@massimo_franzese)
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@joevt

Sorry but my point is that the TV app may not bother checking for those properties at all hence is going SD

I could try connecting the mini straight to the monitor and see what it does but that defeats any chance of HDR

I just think this is simply not going to work at all

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AndySpeed
(@andyspeed)
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Posted by: @massimo_franzese

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

Apple TV
High Dynamic Range (HDR) video playback is supported by the following Mac models:

MacBook Pro (2018 or newer)
iMac Pro (2017)
Mac Pro (2019) with Pro Display XDR

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

Thanks @massimo_franzese. Could you share where Apple says the decoder is in the XDR display? I’m having trouble finding it.

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(@massimo_franzese)
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@andyspeed

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/final-cut-pro/ver27c9f61bc/10.4.7/mac/10.14

As you can see the display is an AV Output device which means it gets a data stream and decodes it.

In this explanation there is no mention of specific hardware to support it so it is possible that the apple Tv app is an apple self imposed limitation to stop other units connected to the XDR display to use HDR

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