How to Use a 4K Display or Ultra HD TV with Your Mac

Apple gives customers the best practices for employing ultra-resolution monitors

By on May 17th, 2014 13:59 GMT

After installing OS X 10.9.3 on their MacBook Pro (Retina, Late 2013) or Mac Pro (Late 2013), Apple customers can reliably use 4K displays and Ultra HD TVs with their Macs, according to the computer giant headquartered in Cupertino, California.

A Support document posted online by the Mac maker reveals that, “You can use 4K displays and Ultra HD TVs with your MacBook Pro (Retina, Late 2013) or Mac Pro (Late 2013) computer.”

Mavericks offers full 4K support, but only the latest version of the operating system - OS X 10.9.3 - offers reliable support for the standard. Customers can use their ultra-resolution display at the following resolutions and refresh rates with the built-in HDMI port, according to Apple.

3840 x 2160 at 30 Hz refresh rate
4096 x 2160 at 24 Hz refresh rate

The company notes that mirroring is not supported at the latter resolution, and that OS X Mavericks v10.9.3 or later enables compatibility with the following DisplayPort displays using single-stream transport (SST) at their default 30 Hz refresh rate: Sharp PN-K321, ASUS PQ321Q, Dell UP2414Q, Dell UP3214Q, Panasonic TC-L65WT600.

The Cupertino behemoth further notes that, “MacBook Pro (Retina, Late 2013) or Mac Pro (Late 2013) also support 60 Hz displays using multi-stream transport (MST). These displays need to be manually configured to use MST.”

Knowledge-base article HT6008 offers instructions for use a display's built-in controls to enable MST, so customers are encouraged to head on over there for the full scoop.

Some displays may require a firmware update to support 60Hz operation, in which case users will have to contact their display vendor, as Apple’s jurisdiction ends here. Other kinds of information offered by Apple include adjusting your display, and more.

In addition to improving 4K display support on Mac Pro (Late 2013) and MacBook Pro with 15-inch Retina Display (Late 2013), OS X 10.9.3 also adds the ability to sync contacts and calendars by tethering your iPhone/iPad to the Mac using the supplied USB cable, and improves the reliability of VPN connections using IPsec.

Bundled with OS X 10.9.3 is also the newest version of Safari (7.0.3) which includes the latest security patches for Mac users surfing the web with Apple’s standard web browser.

Apple has been rumored to plan the release of its own breed of 4K displays, and even an HDTV with ultra-high resolution. So far, no evidence has been found suggesting that this will happen.
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