Seiki 4K with Mac OS X – Full Res at 30hz – SOLVED

September 25th, 2013 admin Location: Raleigh, NC, Topic: Web Design | Digital Media

The Problem with using a Seiki 4k LED Display (Ultra HD) with Mac OS X (Lion, Mountain Lion or perhaps even Mavericks).

Ok so if you are here, I am assuming that you are having the same problem that I was having. You are on a Mac, you decided to go ahead and buy the tempting Seiki 4k display and plug it to your Mac as a nice huge display. The only problem is that when you plugged it – it didn’t want to show you full 4k resolution(3840×2160) right? Don’t get alarmed you are about to fix it.

Now, if you go online, unfortunately there aren’t many people doing this kind of thing (Most are in PCs). Therefore if you were to Google a solution (like I did) you would get frustrated and angry and tired. Not to mention that you’ll invest an incredible amount of time understanding what is wrong.

Now, I am going to share with you the knowledge that my extensive research gave me – so that you don’t have to do what I did. Are you ready?

Question: Can I use my Seiki 4k Display (either 39″ or 50″) with my Mac(Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, etc) and have it display at its native resolution (3840 x 2160) at 30hz? The answer is yes. Let’s see how.


Information that you’ll need.

First of all, you have to be connected to your HDMI input on the SEIKI. This is not going to work if you are trying it on the VGA port. This has nothing to do with the capabilities of VGA. It has to do with the limitations of the display. So use the HDMI cable provided.

Now, coming out of your Mac you are going to need an ACTIVE adapter that changes the signal from Mini DisplayPort to HDMI. I am using the ACCELL – UltraAV Mini DisplayPort 1.1 to HDMI Active Adapter one. I bought it in Amazon and here is the link (NOTICE: This is not an affiliate link right now).

Why do you need an active adapter? This is the most important answer to this problem. The HDMI display, sends a signal to the MiniDisplay port saying I am HDMI. Unfortunately, Apple decided to put a limitation on the Clock Rate for HDMI output. In other words, if it knows that it is HDMI, then it will limit the output. You may get it to work, but it will work only up to 15hz. This display works with double that. If you use an active adapter instead, then you will bypass the limitation because the displayPort “thinks” that it is a DisplayPort device – not HDMI. Therefore you’ll be able to go up to 30hz. You may ask, well can I go up to 60hz? The answer is nope. The reason is because your display works with HDMI 1.4 spec (which means up to 30hz in 4k).

Now, how do you create this resolutions? Well, you are going to need a software called SwitchResX.

This software is available for free with some limitations. Specifically you can’t go 4k with the limitations. So you must buy the software. It is about $19 last time I checked. If you can find another way of easily changing to custom resolutions, then by all means do that. In my research however, I encountered people talking about command line, other people talking about Randr and other stuff. Man – I actually tried to install configuration patterns to my mac via Terminal (don’t do that – it doesn’t work).

Other important consideration is  that you must have a video card that can display 4k resolutions. In my case I am using an Ati Radeon HD 5770 with a Mac Pro 1.1 and it works.

The display I bought from Amazon and it works beautifully (as opposed to what people are saying online). Perhaps the problem that they are experiencing has to do with the settings. Let me give you some advice about that now:

1. Calibrate your display. Open your Display Preferences and hit “Calibrate” this will enable you to adjust the Gamma, Brightness and Contrast to something spectacular.

2. Make sure to reduce the sharpness of the Seiki Display all the way to 0. Yes to zero.

Finally, check and if you are in need of strategic website design for your business or if you know somebody who does, let them know. (Sorry about the plug there).

One last secret. The secret advanced Seiki 4k configuration menu. You can access this menu by pushing: Menu and then four zeros (0000) in the remote. Be careful though, this kind harm it – so be EXTREMELY careful! In fact, don’t go there.

That’s it friends. Enjoy your new display.


About the Author

Alex Centeno MBA., is an international creative director and digital media strategist. Currently residing minutes away from the Research Triangle Park (RTP) - North Carolina, and with over 10 years of interactive marketing training and experience, Alex leads Merkados' international clients to maximizing their online business strategies. One of Alex's biggest strengths is his world-class capacity to effectively combine interactive marketing, digital media design and web development.

You may find further information about Alex Centeno MBA. at: and Twitter.

Sobre el Autor

Alex Centeno MBA., Es un director creativo y estratega de medios digitales reconocido internacionalmente. En la actualidad reside a tan solo minutos del Research Triangle Park (RTP) - Carolina del Norte, y con más de 10 años de entrenamiento y experiencia en marketing interactivo, Alex lidera a los clientes internacionales de Merkados™ para maximizar sus estrategias de negocios en línea. Una de las mayores fortalezas de Alex es su capacidad global de combinar de manera efectiva, mercadeo interactivo, diseño de medios digitales y desarrollo web.

Para más información sobre Alex Centeno MBA. puede visitar: y Twitter.