max number of 1080p@60fps video output on Mac studio?

edited October 17 in MAIN

Hello there,

I'm looking for a way to have 8x1080@60fps projectors on a single computer, and my first thought was using a Mac studio M1 Ultra (I already have it), with a few docking station like this one . The Mac studio M1 Ultra has 6 TB4 ports hence with a few startech dock I thought I could easily get 9 video output (8 for the show and one for the monitor). Did someone already tried this kind of configuration?

The Datapath FX4 approach is not in the kind of budget we have, so I would really prefer to avoid this kind of product.

Thanks for any help,

Adrien

Comments

  • Hello @AdrienMondot,

    Such a docking station is just a cable : it will not help to get rid of the 5-outputs limitation of the Mac Studio.

    There are 3 ways to extend the number of physical outputs :

    • using a splitter such as the Datapath FX4
    • using an output card such as the Decklink 8K Pro (up to 16 x 1080p60 outputs in a MacPro, up to 8 x 1080p60 in a chassis because of the Thunderbolt bandwidth)
    • using a DisplayLink device such as the Plugable one (but it's not perfect). More info in this article.

    To be honnest, the M1 Ultra is such a beast, I'm wondering if you would use all its power. I guess you can save a lot of money by using a "simple" M1 Max, at least enough to buy a FX4 or a cheaper splitter (see this post).

    Best. Philippe

  • Thanks for the clarification.

    Does the Decklink 8K Pro implies some more latency?

  • Yes, about 2 to 4 frames, so 33 to 67ms.

  • Hello there,

    Big surprise : despite the 5-outputs limitation, it seems to work with docking station.

    here I plugged 2 starteck usb-c displaylink dock (2 hdmi out put each), and use 2 other usb-c port and the hdmi port, hence there's 7 videoprojectors connected + my main 4k monitor.

    I need to buy one starteck dock more to get my 8x1080p@60Hz

    It's getting closer!

    I still need to test extensively this setup to understand if there's a drop in performances…

    Adrien

  • To be more precise, it works with a DisplayLink dock but not with the TB3DKM2DPL adapters (they didn't work at all).

  • Hello @AdrienMondot,

    Thank you for sharing your setup Adrien. Very interesting, despite this is not a surprise ;)

    Indeed, as I mentionned in my previous message, DisplayLink docks can create such additional displays because it is not a physical display. Technically, it's like creating a virtual desktop and capturing it continously.

    From our experience, frame drops can arise from time to time, but this might be fixed in a later DisplayLink update. Also, these frames drops are quite subtle and visible on fast-moving content.

    I would be very interested in your next tests, as I never used so many DisplayLink docks at the same time. Let us know you progress ! Thank you.

    Best. Philippe

  • I'll be back on this subject in 2 weeks, I'll try to get two more DisplayLink docks. As I'll be in canada, I'll try to grab the successor of the Plugable one that you mention in your first post but that is not available in France.

    Best,

    Adrien

  • I use AJA HA-5s. You can get 4 1080p@60 from 1 outbound 4K@60 input.

  • I tried with 4x Startech DisplayLink dock but unfortunately it didn't work : only a max of two of them get recognized at a same time. So frustrating… So my next try will be with a Decklink 8K Pro.

  • @AdrienMondot as soon as you try to do a proper PJ blend or run more than 1 output on a LED wall, you'll see it tearing.

    here's 3 1080 outs from a Mac Studio tearing into a christie Spyder:


    useable for maybe an art piece where pixel accuracy isn't an issue, but not useable professionally.

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