Post Production

Apple Pro Display XDR 6K: the questions I asked Apple

After the June announcement, I asked Apple key questions.

I first covered the Apple Pro Display 6K back in June (link ahead). In addition to its amazing performance and specs for its price (and its available matte option!), the Apple Pro Display XDR is the first time I recall ever seeing an Apple display which officially supports non-integer framerates (in addition to integer framerates). This I love! On the official web page, it says that the Apple Pro Display XDR supports: 47.95 Hz, (which I prefer to call 47.952 Hz, but that’s okay), 48.00 Hz, 50.00 Hz, 59.94 Hz and 60.00 Hz. Obviously, 47.952 is 2x of 23.976, 48 is 2x of exact 24, 50.00 is 2x of 25 and 59.94 is 2x of 29.97. But wait a minute…

Link to my June introductory article

Here is a link to my June introductory article, Apple unveils modular Mac Pro + optional matte or glossy display.

Those 2x versions I covered in the introductory paragraph are great, and it’s the only way human beings can watch 23.976, exact 24, 25 or 29.97 due to persistence of vision: We wouldn’t be able to stand the flicker at the original, lower framerates. That’s why all 24 fps has always been projected in analog movie theaters by repeating each frame twice via special repeating shutters in movie projectors, maintaining the original cadence.

To my knowledge, the Apple Pro Display XDR demonstrations made at WWDC last June were all directly connected to the Mac Pro. Here are my three questions.

  1. For many years (if not since the beginning), the macOS Display Control Panel has lacked non-integer framerates like 23.976, 29.97, 47.952 and 59.94 Hz. Their lack of existence has been among the only remaining reasons why there has still been a need for third party interfaces from manufacturers like AJA and Blackmagic, especially for projects that use non-integer framerates. Is it safe to assume that this is about to change with macOS Catalina (i.e. Catalina will show non-integer framerates, hardware dependent), or will apps like Final Cut Pro X now override the macOS output refresh rate for the output selected?
  2. Either way, will that be fully (or partially) supported by all Macs that support macOS Catalina? Can you provide a list of Mac models and supported framerates?
  3. If this is going to be overridden automatically by an app like Final Cut Pro X based upon the framerate of the current project, will this macOS call be made available to other developers who create video editing software for macOS?

I’ll either update this article or publish another one, depending upon how long it takes to get a response from Apple.

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No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur , BeyondPodcasting CapicúaFM or TuRadioGlobal programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own. Allan Tépper is not liable for misuse or misunderstanding of information he shares.

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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

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Stew

Hi Allan, I’m really interested in the answers to your questions about non-integer framerates, have you had any update yet? Thanks!