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Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

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Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby james090 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:07 am

I am just speccing up switching over to the new M1 Mac (or whatever is on the way) from my current older iMac, whether it be a portable Macbook Pro / Air or a Mac Mini M1.
Can I ask if anyone here uses an LCD TV 4K HD, as their main monitor?

I believe these were always discouraged, but the TV's have got much better, sharper and higher resolution in recent years. Also there is now HDMI 2.1 that can be used.

Would anyone recommend one of these for close up work on DAW's, as I currently use 2 monitors but the appeal of just 1 screen looks good.
Also with all TV's, they seem to have the Optical Digital Output as standard, which I currently use everyday! and Apple dropped it from newer Macs some years ago, & I can't seem to find many monitors with it on?

Would a single HDMI connection from say the M1 Mac Mini transfer the HD picture and Audio to the TV Monitor, and allow me to use the Optical Digital Output from the TV / screen to send the audio of the Mac to another recorder?
Does the Optical Digital Output from the TV work ok as a stereo soundcard output (simple)?

Also when choosing a latest TV LCD, 4K, etc, do I need to get one with HDMI 2.1 or is that all down to the cables to use 2.1?
Thanks for any help, but just looking into this, as a few Youtubers and other people I see are now using a large 40' / 50' screen for everything but thought i'd ask here first to see if its a viable option
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby ef37a » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:26 am

Hi James090,
don't know about macs and all that 4k swaddlin' but I have used a bog S 22" FSTV on a windows machine for some years and it has all the resolution I need for Samplitude. That connects via VGA.

I have also tried this Lenovo T510 W10 into a JVC smart TV via HDMI (boggy) and that needed a "Mini Display Port" adapter cable and I suspect the mac might be the same? Note, at first the TV would not see the laptop but I left it all connected, power cycled the TV and it came up swimmingly. Again PD sharp.

My son is fifty next year and is finding his 14" Lenovo more and more a struggle even with glasses so now the shops are open again in France he is going to look for a cheap FSTV from a charity/SH shop. New TVs seem to have dropped VGA.
Best of,

Dave.
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby james090 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:43 am

Thank you Dave,

Yes this sounds promising. But with the advances in TV technology, HDMI 2.1 etc and the new Mac M1's having HDMI too (Mac Mini and runours of the newer MBP's) I am thinking this maybe a good route to go down?

I just need to know which models would be better suited, as i've heard good things about LG, Sharp etc and of course if the all important 'Optical Audio Out' on all these TV's works with getting the sound out of the Mac and into another Soundcard for my way of working :)
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby Luke W » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:51 am

Not directly comparable, but one of my screens is an LG TV. I use it for the video display when working to picture, but also have a few layouts saved where it becomes my mixer/plugin/metering display. I have no problems with working on it, and it's 1080 rather than 4K.

james090 wrote:I just need to know which models would be better suited, as i've heard good things about LG, Sharp etc and of course if the all important 'Optical Audio Out' on all these TV's works with getting the sound out of the Mac and into another Soundcard for my way of working

A little confused as to what you mean by this though, what exactly are you planning/wanting to do?
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby james090 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:59 am

Luke W wrote:A little confused as to what you mean by this though, what exactly are you planning/wanting to do?

I use the Optical Out of my older Mac, coming out into my Audient iD-22 as a stereo optical audio output.

The iD-22 is also connected to the same Mac (and to Monitor Speakers) so basically anything I hear in the Mac, can be recorded in other programs, whether its Ableton, Logic or youtube etc. Everything can be recorded at 24bit Digital into another program open.

I use this perfectly for years and it works flawlessly.

however the newer Mac's I believe dropped Optical out on the headphone output, and the alternatives are Soundflower (good but no longer supported on newer Macs for last few years) or Blackhole which I see many problems with!

A physical cable routing audio to anywhere has been a godsend.
So the new Mac's dont have Optical output and most of the monitors don't either! but... the TV's seem to! so I am hoping I can use the screen to output audio back to itself to my iD-22 so I can just carry on with this set up.
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby ef37a » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:06 pm

Well, my seriously dumb Blaupunkt uses a "Techole" S/PDIF external converter to feed an Arcam hi fi amp and Radio 3 sounds fine but why would you want to use the TV's sound system for 'studio' work? Surely your monitoring will be via your interface?

As to which brand of TV to go for? Tifarno, I have had 4 main TVs since we went digital. Hitachi, Sony, JVC and now the Bpnkt. The latter gives the best picture IMHO but I only get HD TV but the snooker looks stunning. 4k should be amazing.

Note to the wise (and I am sure Hugh might have some thoughts here?) FSTVs can give a rather different aspect ratio from 'proper' monitors and it might be necessary to tweak picture height and width. These controls are not usually in the layman's menu but it is possible the manufacturer might help you?

Ah! Just seen, you want to route TV sound back to the interface. Fine, I think some TVs are optical, some RCA but the converters (CPC) work very well either way, just a hex inverter really, and are about 15 quid.

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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby james090 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:08 pm

ef37a wrote:Well, my seriously dumb Blaupunkt uses a "Techole" S/PDIF external converter to feed an Arcam hi fi amp and Radio 3 sounds fine but why would you want to use the TV's sound system for 'studio' work? Surely your monitoring will be via your interface?

As I mention, its only a recording 24 bit digital output. I am monitoring via my interface! :)
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby ManFromGlass » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:39 pm

I can’t answer your question directly but having just received the Air M1 am working out the details. Due to the limited connectivity of this machine I bought an adapter from the apple store with a heck of a lot of ports. It was the expensive adapter I went for.
I’ve also seen YouTube’s floating about that show people connecting monitors to their M1 Air. Some Russian fellow had 6 external monitors connected to his machine.
Hopefully this info will help your research.
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby Luke W » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:23 pm

james090 wrote:
Luke W wrote:A little confused as to what you mean by this though, what exactly are you planning/wanting to do?

I use the Optical Out of my older Mac, coming out into my Audient iD-22 as a stereo optical audio output.

The iD-22 is also connected to the same Mac (and to Monitor Speakers) so basically anything I hear in the Mac, can be recorded in other programs, whether its Ableton, Logic or youtube etc. Everything can be recorded at 24bit Digital into another program open.

I use this perfectly for years and it works flawlessly.

however the newer Mac's I believe dropped Optical out on the headphone output, and the alternatives are Soundflower (good but no longer supported on newer Macs for last few years) or Blackhole which I see many problems with!

A physical cable routing audio to anywhere has been a godsend.
So the new Mac's dont have Optical output and most of the monitors don't either! but... the TV's seem to! so I am hoping I can use the screen to output audio back to itself to my iD-22 so I can just carry on with this set up.

Ah got it, I think I'm with you.

From memory, any audio going into my TV via any of its inputs can be set to be fired out of the optical out. I can imagine that's the case with most if not all as the intention is to use send all of the TV audio off to surround systems/soundbars and the like.
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby james090 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:40 pm

Luke W wrote:Ah got it, I think I'm with you.

From memory, any audio going into my TV via any of its inputs can be set to be fired out of the optical out. I can imagine that's the case with most if not all as the intention is to use send all of the TV audio off to surround systems/soundbars and the like.

My thoughts exactly Luke.. :)

This way of working for me is so easy and intuitive, as any audio can be recorded anywhere at digital quality. With other apps, I have to set up the input to record, the output to my Monitors etc.

With a physical cable connected, I always am monitoring, and there's no latency, it just works! so trying to replicate this (if I can) on the new M1's, and I've asked Apple twice now just to make sure if there headphone ports output Optical (as its a new processor) and twice they said they didn't know?!
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby ef37a » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:14 pm

I can confirm that all signal sources, off air, HDMI, SCART, are fed out from the digital port, at least that is so for my Blaupunkt and was for my JVC.

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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:20 pm

If you use a TV as a monitor then you will almost certainly need to switch off all the picture enhancements. Our lad uses a small Samsung TV with his Raspberry Pi via HDMI and everything looks a little odd with the typical TV settings but fine once the sharpness is set to 0.
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby Lizardpoint » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:46 pm

Hi there,
Just wanted to share my experience.
I purchased 2 x 43 inch LG 4K tv screens to use on my Mac Pro with pro tools.
They looked fantastic but there was a 200ms latency in converting the hdmi input to the screen. This meant that editing visually was impossible as the sound you heard didn’t line up with the waveform on the screen. I verified this with a handy YouTube video. When I used a single tv and a Mac Cinema Display the difference was obvious.
Gorgeous as they were, they had to go back.
Something to be aware of. Maybe all 4K tv’s are not affected to the same degree but in the current climate I was unable to take my Mac to the shop before I purchased them.
Cheers
Dave
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby james090 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:06 pm

Lizardpoint wrote:Hi there,
Just wanted to share my experience.
I purchased 2 x 43 inch LG 4K tv screens to use on my Mac Pro with pro tools.
They looked fantastic but there was a 200ms latency in converting the hdmi input to the screen. This meant that editing visually was impossible as the sound you heard didn’t line up with the waveform on the screen. I verified this with a handy YouTube video. When I used a single tv and a Mac Cinema Display the difference was obvious.
Gorgeous as they were, they had to go back.
Something to be aware of. Maybe all 4K tv’s are not affected to the same degree but in the current climate I was unable to take my Mac to the shop before I purchased them.
Cheers
Dave

Thanks Dave, and exactly the reason for my post, so your experience is very handy and something to consider. Thank you :)
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Re: Mac M1 & 4k HDMI 2.1 TV Screen as Monitor?

Postby ef37a » Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:29 am

james090 wrote:EDIT : Just come across by chance a new Application for routing and recording internal audio, incase it helps anyone reading this post :

https://www.gingeraudio.com/ (Ground Control) Its Free!

Basically the same as SoundFlower (which was no longer supported) and Blackhole (which I see a lot of problems with)

Plus this is for almost every Mac, including newer M1 models.

So fingers crossed this will be the solution to the Optical Digital in/out missing on the newer Macs. :thumbup:

I hope this helps anyone else who wants to record internally. I haven't tried this as of yet.

If you mean recording the 'soundcard', what was "stereo mix" in Win7 and before, you can do that with Audacity. Uses the Windows WASAPI driver but I dare say macs will have similar?

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