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Adding a 50" 4K TV to the system

I decided to add a 50" 4K TV to the system so I could see the views from all the cams better.

The 2014 i7 Mac Mini seems unable to push the data to the TV through an HDMI cable.

With the Dell 19" monitor, it worked fine, and it initially worked OK with the LG 50" screen, I think when it did its overnight reboot, it detected the 4K screen at the other end, and changed something to try to accommodate it, but the LG now says no signal detected.

That's problem 1. I verified the HDMI cable is OK, my 2020 M1 MacBook Air is able to send video through it to the LG.

I thought I'd work around that by just keeping the Dell 19" monitor on the Mini for admin use, and view the cameras on the LG by using the Apple TV App on an an Apple TV 4K.

Problem 2 is that the Apple TV app seems to be slightly zooming the views, which crops the minute and seconds digits of the camera times off the right top of the frame, which is not ideal. The frame rates are also not visible. Without frame rates or seconds ticking off, it's hard to know if I'm looking at a freeze-frame or a live view. I went all through the LG settings, tried all the aspect ratios and zoom settings, but it looks like the slightly zoomed views are being sent by the Apple TV app, and I can't unzoom them on the LG.

Problem 3...I purchased the Multiplex option from the app, thinking it would display the views in a similar way the Mac app does. On the Mac I have 7 cams, with the 3 main ones each taking up 1/4 of the entire screen, and the remaining 4 cams in the remaining 1/4 of the screen. I don't see a way to do that in the TV app multiplex view. With 7 cameras, the multiplex displays 6 of them, and moves them every 10 seconds or so, which is not ideal for how I'd prefer to view them. As a temporary fix, I took one of the cameras offline, which stops the scrolling, but I can't monitor that camera now.

I do intend to get a new Mac Mini, but it's been 2 years now since the first M1 Mini was released and I wanted to wait for the M1 Pro or M2 Mini before buying one.

I'm pretty sure with a new Mini, it will work just the way it was working, but meanwhile, I'm trying to do the best I can with what I have.

Any help or suggestions on solving or working around any of the above will be appreciated.

Comments

  • After doing a little research on the web, I was able to get the Mini to push the pixels to the 4K.

    Someone suggested that using the Mini's Mini Display Port and a Mini Display port to HDMI adapter would work, even though the HDMI port won't work. I just happened to have one of those adapters I had used years ago with an old MacBook Pro.

    I ended up having both the Dell (using the Mini's HDMI port) and the 4K (using the Mini-Display port and adapter) connected to the Mini at the same time, so I could see what I was doing (on the Dell) to add the 4K screen in the Mini's System Prefs.

    This temporarily solves my problem, hopefully, until the upgraded Minis are released. This arrangement lost signal once already, about 45 minutes after I connected it...moving the HDMI cable from the 4K's HDMI 1 to HDMI 2 restored it.

    For the Apple TV app, I'd still be interested in learning if we can control how the cameras are displayed, and whether we can correct the cropping that occurs somewhere in the stream of data when using the app to view the cams.

    The cropping occurs when using the Dell monitor, also, so it is apparently not an LG 4K overscan setting problem.

  • One more detail...

    I think the Mini was choking on all the data it was being asked to process. Some of the cameras were greying out repeatedly.

    The solution for that was to select "Scaled" in the display preferences and specify 1080P and 30 Hertz refresh rate.

    That seemed to free up enough processor capacity to keep it from greying out those cams.

  • Good to hear you got HDMI to the TV working with the adaptor - it's strange that this didn't work with the built-in HDMI port - Apple's specs for the HDMI port on this Mac state that it's compatible with 4K video at 30 Hz. Perhaps the display settings on the Mac got set to a format that's incompatible with the TV - if you encounter this again, connect your Dell monitor, go to the Displays System Preference, and click the "Gather Windows" button - this will bring the settings for the non-working monitor onto the screen, where you can change them and hopefully find a format that works.

    Cropping: currently our Apple TV app displays images with a fixed 16:9 ratio. We're in the process of updating the app, and will change this behaviour so that it will use the cameras' native aspect ratio, which should fix the cropping issue that you are seeing. I'm referring here to the main "Cameras" matrix view rather than multiplex - in multiplex mode there may still need to be some cropping to arrange all cameras neatly on the screen without black bars.

    As for multiplex settings (choosing cameras and delay), simply swipe down on the Apple TV remote while in multiplex mode and a panel pops up that allows you to set these.

    In terms of performance, yes you could very well be correct that the added load of driving both monitors at high-res is using a lot of GPU resources, affecting SecuritySpy's performance. When you are able to upgrade to a new M1/M2 mini it should certainly fix this.

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