HTPC Credentials - Display Outputs Capabilities

The comes with display outputs, and their characteristics are summarized in the table below. From a HTPC use-case perspective, the entries of interest include the ability to support UHD (3840 x 2160) or higher resolutions, along with HDCP 2.2. The latter enables the display output to be used for viewing protected content such as 4K Netflix streams and play back UltraHD Blu-rays.

NUC8i7BEH Display Outputs
  HDMI Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C (DP 1.2)
Version 2.0a 1.2
Max. Video Output 3840x2160 @ 60Hz 4096x2160 @ 60Hz
HDCP Yes (2.2)
HDR Yes No
HD Audio Bitstreaming Yes

Supporting the display of high-resolution protected video content is a requirement for even a casual HTPC user. In addition, HTPC enthusiasts also want their systems to support refresh rates that either match or be an integral multiple of the frame rate of the video being displayed. Most displays / AVRs are able to transmit the supported refresh rates to the PC using the EDID metadata. In some cases, the desired refresh rate might be missing in the list of supported modes.

Custom Resolutions

Our evaluation of the as a HTPC was done using the native HDMI output connected to a TCL 55P607 4K HDR TV via a Denon AVR-X3400H AV receiver. The list of supported modes seen by the system didn't include PAL (50 Hz), but, this was trivial to fix by adding a custom resolution in the Intel Graphics Command Center.

We tested out various display refresh rates ranging from 23.976 Hz to 59.94 Hz. Of particular interest is the 23.976 Hz (23p) setting, which Intel used to have trouble with in the pre-Broadwell days.

The gallery below presents screenshots from the other refresh rates that were tested. The system has no trouble maintaining a fairly accurate refresh rate throughout the duration of the video playback.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) Support

The ability of the system to support HDR output is brought out in the first line of the madVR OSD in the above pictures. The display / desktop was configured to be in HDR mode prior to the gathering of the above screenshots.

We find that the HDR configuration results in the GPU driving a RGB signal to the display.

The CyberLink Ultra HD Blu-ray Advisor tool confirms that our setup (Intel NUC8i7BEH + Denon AVR-X3400H + TCL 55P607) supports HDCP 2.2 along with HDR. The PC also satisfies other requirements (such as SGX and appropriate Management Engine firmware) to enable playback of Ultra HD Blu-rays.

Networking and Storage Performance HTPC Credentials - YouTube and Netflix Streaming
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  • dontlistentome - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    A few niggles still on my NUC7 -

    1. Firmware upgrades locked you out if you used Bitlocker (as in no rescue key, bye bye everything). At least it now warns you to suspend Bitlocker, but if lenovo can manage these upgrades seamlessly, why can't Intel?
    2. Thunderbolt implementation - seems incomplete as it won't play nice with a lenovo TB3 dock (multiple other machines do) and can't be powered from it (an edge case, I know)
    3. DP/HDMI implementation. Won't sleep my screen correctly so the keep coming on every few minutes. Have to turn them off at the switch.

    Other than that, it does the job but will be waiting a few generations before I upgrade (or will get a Zotac Zen box instead...)
    Reply
  • Badelhas - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    I also have a Intel Nuc. How can I do a firmware upgrade?
    Cheers
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    If everything is working... do not update.

    Other than that go to intel.co.uk, support, auto driver update or something like that.
    Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    I can only second that! Updating a NUC without need can result in a "home theater" experience of the unwanted kind. Reply
  • MrCommunistGen - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    Intel has a download center for drivers and whatnot. You can find it by doing an internet search for Intel Download Center or by just going to downloadcenter dot intel dot com (I'm not sure what the policies are here for posting URLs).

    The simplest way to get all the driver and BIOS updates is likely to run their latest generation update detection tool by clicking "Get started" next to where it says "Automatically update your drivers". This should be visible on the main landing page for the Downloadcenter.

    If you want to do the updates manually, or you feel like the Automatic detection tool missed something you can download and apply the updates manually. To do this you'll need your NUC's model number. For example, I have a 7th Gen i5 NUC, so my model number is: NUC7i5BNH.
    Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    dontlistentome is talking about a system where the drive has been encrypted with bitlocker. The NUC is no different than any other system in this regard. Reply
  • niva - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    Actually it is different, he specifically stated that other systems can handle firmware upgrades while the NUCs can't. Reply
  • Axltech - Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - link

    fairly swift and easy to auto intel driver update app : https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/28425/In... Reply
  • acme64 - Thursday, April 11, 2019 - link

    f7 on the bios Reply
  • mikato - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    Yeah I was waiting for the Zotac ZBox MA551 with Ryzen 5 2400G but that never showed. Reply

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