When Apple introduced the new Mac mini (M2), just one of the exciting tidbits was that its HDMI port has been upgraded, though only if you get the model with the M2 Pro chip.
Assistance for 4K at 120Hz natively, or 4K at 240Hz working with Screen Stream Compression (DSC) tech, are now readily available in that design, and the two are good – but what seriously designed me sit up and take detect is that 4K HDR is now supported, for the 1st time.
We are only chatting HDR10 ideal now (the most ‘basic’ and widespread sort), but which is even now a main stage up about the ‘no HDR at all’ we beforehand had. Apple does help the a lot more superior Dolby Vision HDR structure in macOS (the mini-LED screen on its Professional laptops usually takes full benefit of it, as we talk about in our MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) evaluation), but not above the HDMI port currently.
But continue to, with HDCP 2.2 on board to assist this, it right away raises the problem of making use of the Mac mini M2 Pro as a HTPC (residence theater Pc) related to one particular of the best TVs. HTPCs made use of to be a notable factor, but have fallen absent extra recently offered the increase of the very best streaming equipment, which could do most of the similar features for a great deal less dollars.
But HTPCs nonetheless have their employs (and their lovers). You can check out online video from basically wherever that can provide movie to a world wide web browser, just after all – not just services supported by the gadget. You can also engage in any electronic film documents you have, no make any difference their structure, or link to any sort of streaming server (or produce one driven by the Mac mini, of system).
And because it is the M2 Professional variation, you get a beastly amount of energy for just about anything else you want to do with it – together with leisure. As ever, Macs are not commonly the first port of call for game titles, but there is nevertheless a enormous quantity of releases, new and old (particularly strategy game titles), and you can be absolutely sure that everything you toss at it will operate wonderful on the 19-core GPU.
And it can be suitable for music fans as well – plug the Mac mini into a good AV receiver with critical speakers related to it and you could play a Hello-Res Audio tunes collection at excellent high quality.
There are some troubles with employing the Mac mini M2 Professional as a HTPC. The initial is the deficiency of Dolby Atmos output from the HDMI port – multi-channel audio is supported, but not in the Atmos structure, so you can successfully get encompass seem, but not the full 3D object-primarily based audio effect with 1 of the very best Dolby Atmos soundbars.
Once again, Atmos is supported in macOS, and you get Atmos Spatial Audio from the speakers on the iMac 24-inch (2021) or when viewing one thing and employing AirPods Professional 2 – but Atmos will not likely be output more than the HDMI.
And then there is certainly the value. $1,299 / £1,399 / AU$1,999 is quite a lot for a HTPC. You can get the most recent Apple Television set 4K (2022) for approximately 90% much less expensive than that, leaving you with adequate income to invest in a PlayStation 5 and an Xbox Collection X for that gaming hit. And then you would have Dolby Eyesight and Atmos aid, also.
But you would not have the overall flexibility. I am not expressing people today should really rush out to acquire the new Mac mini as an alternative way to look at the most effective streaming providers I am just saying that for a selected class of dwelling theater nerd (me – I imply: me), it just grew to become just one of the far more interesting units close to.
You can examine our total Mac mini (2023) assessment for additional on the equipment – and indeed, we received to take a look at the M2 Professional edition.