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steagl3 08-07-2018 09:55 PM

Mac Mini 2014 - no 4K video through AV receiver
 
Hey all, got a pretty frustrating issue that I've reached my mental limit on troubleshooting, hoping some Mac gurus here can help. Here's what I've got:

TV: Sony Sony XBR-65X800B
Receiver: Sony DA1800ES
HTPC: Mac Mini 2014

My goal is to get 4K/24hz video from my Mac Mini to the TV via the receiver. Each device here is native 4K and connected via HDMI 2.0 cables that I have confirmed work properly with 4K video signals with other equipment. The problem is I can only get a 1080p signal this way. If I plug the Mac Mini directly into the TV, I get full 4K video and 24hz (it can go up to 30hz over HDMI - all I want is 24). But as soon as it goes back through the receiver, I'm stuck at 1080p.

According to the product page for the DA1800ES, under HDMI specs it states 6 in / 2 out and "+1 Zone out 4k". Further down it states "4K – Pass Through 2nd Zone HDMI". I first interpreted this to mean that 4K passthrough to the TV was only possible on HDMI Out B, which is the Zone 2 output. So I enabled this in the receiver settings and it didn't make any difference - still capped at 1080p to the TV. So I'm probably misinterpreting this. I definitely want to use HDMI Out A which has ARC capability.

Does anyone know why I can't get 4K from the Mac Mini to the receiver to the TV? Any help would be most appreciated. Thanks!

audit13 08-11-2018 10:57 AM

Sounds like the mini is detecting the Sony edid as being a 1080p device.

Sony is running the latest firmware? Tried different HDMI inputs on the Sony? Other video sources come through the Sony at 4k/24?

steagl3 08-13-2018 08:35 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Answers...
1) The AVR is on the latest firmware.
2) The only other 4K-capable device I have is a 2017 MacBook Pro 15" and the same behavior occurs. 4K direct to the TV, 1080p through the receiver.

Do you have any thoughts about the "+1 Zone out 4k" and "4K – Pass Through 2nd Zone HDMI" features listed on the AVR specs? What do those mean? I have a feeling something needs to be changed on the AVR to allow for 4K output as the TV is accepting direct 4K inputs.

audit13 08-13-2018 08:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steagl3 (Post 56637960)
Thanks for the feedback. Answers...
1) The AVR is on the latest firmware.
2) The only other 4K-capable device I have is a 2017 MacBook Pro 15" and the same behavior occurs. 4K direct to the TV, 1080p through the receiver.

Do you have any thoughts about the "+1 Zone out 4k" and "4K – Pass Through 2nd Zone HDMI" features listed on the AVR specs? What do those mean? I have a feeling something needs to be changed on the AVR to allow for 4K output as the TV is accepting direct 4K inputs.

Not sure what it means but it's it possible to set the receiver to pass through whereby it does not process the video signal?

Edit: It is probably due to the fact that the receiver only has HDMI 1.4 support rather than HDMI 2.0.

I had the exact same problem with a marantz sr7007 and an anthem mrx310. Both support 4k pass through at 4k/24 but my apple tv 4k and htpc 4k would not send out a 4k signal unless they were connected directly to the tv.

steagl3 08-13-2018 08:50 PM

In the receiver's GUI mode there is an option under HDMI Settings for 'Pass Through:' but it is grayed out and I cannot change it.

EDIT: I take that back - if I change the "Zone2 / OutB" setting from Zone2 to OutB, then I can enable Pass Through (I have to enable 'Ctrl for HDMI' first). However it doesn't make any difference with the resolution.

I need to find my owner's manual, this is getting maddening...

audit13 08-13-2018 08:53 PM

Edited to my post. I had the same problem until I bought a new receiver with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2.

steagl3 08-13-2018 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audit13 (Post 56638010)
Edited to my post. I had the same problem until I bought a new receiver with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2.

You may be on to something here. Check out the description on Sony's product page: http://www.sonypremiumhome.com/recei...R-DA1800ES.php

It's very poorly written but it looks like it's saying the HDMI inputs are only 1080p/24p capable, yet at the same time, it can pass through a 4K signal to a 4K TV. But how? is the question. There is nothing I can find in any literature specifying what generation the HDMI inputs and outputs are, so that could be the issue.

steagl3 08-13-2018 09:11 PM

Success! Well, sort of. I found my user manual and it states on one of the pages that only inputs 4 and 6 support 4K transmission. Plugged my Mac Mini into one of those and I was able to select 4K in my Intel Iris control panel. But now the 4k resolution does not fill the entire screen - there are black bars on every side. Now to fix that issue... joy.

steagl3 08-13-2018 09:54 PM

Now that I figured out the 4K passthrough issue on the HDMI inputs, here's the current dilemma:

- In Windows 10 (via boot camp), I can select 4096x2160 @ 24hz, but the image does not fill the entire screen. There is a relatively thick black border surrounding the image, with no overscan option that I can see to stretch the image out and eliminate the borders.
- In Mac OS, there is no 4096x2160 display option at any refresh rate - the max allowed is 3840x2160 @ 30hz. This at least fills the entire screen. However, according to Mac Mini 2014 specs (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206587), the HDMI supports 4096x2160 @ 24hz, so I don't understand why I don't see that in my display options (I know about the alt+left click trick to show alternate resolutions). HDMI 1.4 is capable of that resolution and everything in my AV setup is at least 1.4.

Has anyone else grappled with this same issue?

audit13 08-14-2018 07:05 AM

The Sony tv can't exceed 3840 x 2160 so use that resolution for Windows 10 and Mac os.

Running at 4k/24 will probably result in a laggy mouse and cursor.

steagl3 08-14-2018 08:51 AM

Ah, didn't realize it was a limitation of the TV. Thanks. I wonder how it will handle true 4K file playback over Plex - that's the whole reason I'm trying to get this setup to work, to be able to play back 4K MKVs from my Plex Server (Mac Mini) to the TV. Will have to do some testing so to see if true 4K gets resized to UHD and still stays smooth at 24p.

audit13 08-14-2018 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steagl3 (Post 56639940)
Ah, didn't realize it was a limitation of the TV. Thanks. I wonder how it will handle true 4K file playback over Plex - that's the whole reason I'm trying to get this setup to work, to be able to play back 4K MKVs from my Plex Server (Mac Mini) to the TV. Will have to do some testing so to see if true 4K gets resized to UHD and still stays smooth at 24p.

You mean 4k rips? Discs are 4k @ 24 or 4k @ 23.976.

Depending on the GPU, you might have a hard time with playback as it's best to have a gpu that supports hardware decoding and software that supports HDR.

steagl3 08-14-2018 09:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audit13 (Post 56639962)
You mean 4k rips? Discs are 4k @ 24 or 4k @ 23.976.

Depending on the GPU, you might have a hard time with playback as it's best to have a gpu that supports hardware decoding and software that supports HDR.

Yes, 4K discs ripped to HEVC/H.265 MKVs. The native resolution of these video files is 4096x2160. So the question will be, can the Mac Mini's GPU (Intel Iris 5100) play them back at reduced resolution (3084x2160) with no visible issues. Plex supports 4K/HDR so not worried about the software side of things.

audit13 08-14-2018 09:02 AM

I have ripped discs and they are all 3840x2160 according to my software.

steagl3 08-15-2018 07:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audit13 (Post 56640034)
I have ripped discs and they are all 3840x2160 according to my software.

I think you may be right - I'll have to check next time I rip one. After reading up on it more the 'true' 4K resolution seems to be for cinema screens and not consumer TVs.

So I'm not out of the woods just yet - everything was working fine after I figured out the receiver issue, but now am not getting 4K via Windows 10 (boot camp). The resolution options are available, but any time I click 3840x2160 nothing changes and the Intel graphics panel asks me if I want to save my changes. I've rebooted, updated Windows 10 with all available updates, and rebooted in Mac OS and confirmed I can get 3840x2160 without issue. There are no driver updates for the GPU either. This is incredibly strange as two days ago I was getting 4k resolutions through W10.

audit13 08-15-2018 07:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steagl3 (Post 56645018)
I think you may be right - I'll have to check next time I rip one. After reading up on it more the 'true' 4K resolution seems to be for cinema screens and not consumer TVs.

So I'm not out of the woods just yet - everything was working fine after I figured out the receiver issue, but now am not getting 4K via Windows 10 (boot camp). The resolution options are available, but any time I click 3840x2160 nothing changes and the Intel graphics panel asks me if I want to save my changes. I've rebooted, updated Windows 10 with all available updates, and rebooted in Mac OS and confirmed I can get 3840x2160 without issue. There are no driver updates for the GPU either. This is incredibly strange as two days ago I was getting 4k resolutions through W10.

Is windows 10 displaying the correct model number for the TV in display settings? Have you tried creating a custom display resolution?

steagl3 08-15-2018 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audit13 (Post 56645028)
Is windows 10 displaying the correct model number for the TV in display settings? Have you tried creating a custom display resolution?

It is - and yes I've tried custom display resolutions (3840x2160 at 23, 24 and 30hz) and it's not changing anything either. Very strange.

audit13 08-15-2018 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steagl3 (Post 56646274)
It is - and yes I've tried custom display resolutions (3840x2160 at 23, 24 and 30hz) and it's not changing anything either. Very strange.

That is strange. With everything running, disconnect and reconnect the HDMI cable from the Mac.

If you are connecting as follows: Mac --> HDMI --> receiver --> HDMI --> TV, then windows 10 sees the display device as the receiver?

steagl3 08-15-2018 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audit13 (Post 56646336)
That is strange. With everything running, disconnect and reconnect the HDMI cable from the Mac.

If you are connecting as follows: Mac --> HDMI --> receiver --> HDMI --> TV, then windows 10 sees the display device as the receiver?

I'll try the HDMI disconnects/reconnects tonight. I'm pretty sure I did that last night but maybe it had something to do with the order in which I did it.

And yes that signal flow is correct, but no W10 sees the display device as SONY TV BRAVIA 06 or however my TV shows up. The Mac Mini has no idea about the receiver, technically.

audit13 08-15-2018 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steagl3 (Post 56646578)
I'll try the HDMI disconnects/reconnects tonight. I'm pretty sure I did that last night but maybe it had something to do with the order in which I did it.

And yes that signal flow is correct, but no W10 sees the display device as SONY TV BRAVIA 06 or however my TV shows up. The Mac Mini has no idea about the receiver, technically.

Makes sense to see the tv since you have enabled pass through on the receiver. I thought it was picking up the receiver as the display device.

steagl3 08-20-2018 10:47 AM

A couple updates:

1) I was able to restore 4K output from Windows 10 to the TV by manually installing an Intel Iris graphics update (3840x2160 @ 30hz). But...
2) ...The Mac Mini is absolutely awful for playing back 4K files. Video stuttering and then complete freezing while audio continues. I tried locally and over the network to my NAS and both methods produced unwatchable results. Also tried 24hz refresh rate to match the 24p speed of the video files and it didn't make any difference.

It's very deceptive that Apple advertised 4K support for this machine, when in reality it's just an available resolution setting and there is no ability to actually play 4K content correctly. I'm disappointed for wasting 2 weeks trying to get this working, only to go back to my 2012 Mac Mini at 1080p (better specs). I'm considering getting the Nvidia Shield to act as the new HTPC, but it's not ideal as a Plex Server due to storage limitations, so I may just stick with 1080p until the perfect device comes along. Anyways thanks audit13 for your help with troubleshooting, sorry that it didn't lead to a good outcome in the end.

highd3f 08-23-2018 03:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steagl3 (Post 56669302)
2) ...The Mac Mini is absolutely awful for playing back 4K files. Video stuttering and then complete freezing while audio continues.

This is the only player that made 4K movies at least watchable on my Mac mini. Though, it will highly depend on the codec used as well as video bitrate, so you may still experience stuttering during intense scenes.

steagl3 08-27-2018 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by highd3f (Post 56684394)
This is the only player that made 4K movies at least watchable on my Mac mini. Though, it will highly depend on the codec used as well as video bitrate, so you may still experience stuttering during intense scenes.

Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately I already ditched the 2014 Mac Mini and made the decision to go back to my Quad-Core 2012 Mac Mini and stick with 1080p network streaming. I think at this point the only way I'd try 4K again is with the Nvidia Shield, or potentially a native 4K Popcorn Hour.


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