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Apple prepping first Macs with HDMI - sources

post #1 of 194
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Apple plans to introduce HDMI connectivity on some of its personal computers this year, embracing an emerging trend that has seen the high-definition audio/video interface crop up on an increasing number of systems from rival PC manufacturers, AppleInsider has learned.

HDMI spotted on Mac mini

More specifically, prototypes of a new Mac mini — Apple's smallest and most affordable system, commonly employed by tech savvy Mac users as an ad-hoc living room media server, has been making the rounds with an HDMI port in place of its legacy DVI connector, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The port sits besides mini DisplayPort connector and marks the first instance of full-featured*HDMI connectivity on a Mac. It also represents only the second Apple product to feature the port outside of the company's fledgeling Apple TV streaming media device. Cosmetically, the Mac mini is otherwise said to look identical to existing models, with no other visible changes to its enclosure.

A bit about HDMI and Macs

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a cabling standard intended for home theater uses, built on top of the computer-oriented DVI (Digital Video Interface) specification. It uses a compact flat connector instead of the relatively large one used for DVI. Because it's backwardly compatible with DVI on an electronic signaling level, computers with DVI output can drive an HDMI display such as an HDTV using only a physical adapter dongle.

Apple's recent Macs all supply either a standard DVI port or a Mini DisplayPort connector that is also designed to provide DVI signals in addition to DisplayPort, a newer, incompatible video signaling protocol. This makes it simple to connect either port to an HDMI display for video output using a simple converter dongle.

However, the HDMI specification also provides support for audio, something DVI does not. Since there are no audio signals presented on Mac (or PC) DVI (or, apparently, existing*Mac Mini DisplayPort) connectors, there's currently no way to deliver both audio and video from a Mac to an HDMI TV over a simple, single cable.

Apple's existing Mac mini offers users the choice of DVI or mini DisplayPort for video output.

Only Apple TV provides an HDMI connector capable of delivering both audio and video signals to an HDMI display. Including HDMI video connectors on new Mac models would enable users to connect their computer to an HDTV via one cable, rather than needing a separate audio connection or complex cable.

An unannounced version of the Mac mini has been spotted with an HDMI connector instead of a DVI.

Mac mini prototype with Nvidia's MCP89

At least one of the Mac mini prototypes described by those privy to the hardware is said to include Nvidia's MCP89 chipset, which is the successor to the existing MCP79 (or GeForce 9400M) *chipset found alongside Intel's Core 2 Duo processors across the majority of Apple's existing Mac product line.

However, Intel's ongoing licensing dispute with Nvidia will prevent Apple (and other PC makers) from using the MCP89 supporting chipset alongside its latest generation of Nehalem-based Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. Therefore, this suggests that Apple may continue to rely on existing Core 2 Duo (pre-Nehalem) processors as part of its upcoming Mac mini revision.

Alternatively, the Mac mini prototype in question could have been in development before Intel's disagreement with Nvidia came to a head, meaning successive prototype revisions that forgo the new Nvidia chipset in favor of Intel's may have since emerged, though there's no evidence thus far to support that theory.

HDMI for other Macs

While adding an HDMI port to the Mac mini is fairly trivial with few tradeoffs, the same can't necessarily be said in regards to Apple's notebook lines, which sport a much smaller footprint and limited real estate for additions to its I/O port makeup.

However, another product floating around Apple's labs is a proprietary mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter that the Mac maker had originally developed and intended to ship alongside its most recent iMac revision, according to people with knowledge of the situation. It's said to include technology that would allows Macs shipping with an updated mini DisplayPort spec to channel both video and audio through the mini Display port to the HDMI adapter, rather than just video.

One of the various mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapters on the market that doesn't carry audio signals.

Ideally, the adapter was to accompany Apple's move to include Blu-ray drives in the high-end iMac (and offer them as build-to-order options on the rest of the line), allowing the all-in-one desktops to connect to big-screen HDTVs that would leverage their Blu-ray drives and high-def iTunes video content. But a near last-minute decision by Apple to scrap Blu-ray from the iMac line this past fall kept the adapter under wraps. It's therefore possible that it could still emerge as a solution that could accompany a future update to the company's notebook lines.

Blu-ray blues

Apple's move to ax Blu-ray from the iMac line (and several other Macs that were undergoing Q&A testing) was reportedly due to a number of factors. One issue, according to people familiar with the matter, was that Apple management -- including Jobs -- felt Blu-ray licensing fees were too steep for the length of time they believed the technology would remain relevant in the market place. There were also reportedly both software and hardware related issues that would have demanded too much engineer effort to overcome.

If you missed it

In related news, AppleInsider reported earlier this month on Apple's efforts to usher advanced automatic graphics switching into its professional MacBook Pro line sometime this year.
post #2 of 194
Turning the Notebooks and Mac Minis into stealth Apple TV units to play iTunes content.

I'm kind of hoping ALL miniDPs can output video and sound one day through an adaptor (I have a '08 MacBook Pro), but this doesn't sound too hopeful from the article.
post #3 of 194
I hope this means HDMI in for the iMacs - I'd love to be able to plug my PS3 into a new iMac and was terribly disappointed to discover that that wasn't possible with the recent models.
post #4 of 194
I for one would love to see this added across the board...
post #5 of 194
Too many unnamed sources for me to take this seriously.
post #6 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post

I hope this means HDMI in for the iMacs - I'd love to be able to plug my PS3 into a new iMac and was terribly disappointed to discover that that wasn't possible with the recent models.

I think that you are dreaming. I hope that your are not.
post #7 of 194
no no no NO NO!

THIS GOES AGAINST EVERYTHING PEOPLE AROUND HERE HAVE BEEN SAYING.

post #8 of 194
Hmmm. I wonder if this means Blu-ray drives are a comin'. A home theater computer should contain everything the home theater needs, after all.
post #9 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post

I hope this means HDMI in for the iMacs - I'd love to be able to plug my PS3 into a new iMac and was terribly disappointed to discover that that wasn't possible with the recent models.

This is possible with an adapter coming out in April by Kanex.
post #10 of 194
Apple should move to Intel Light Peak: 10Gbps by 2010 to 2011 and up to 100 Gbps by 2020. One single connector rules them all.
post #11 of 194
Tried the other day to connect my MBP to a receiver thru a DVI-to-HDMI-cable. Works, but at least my ONKYO receiver and SHARP LCD-TV gave a couple of unwanted results. The Mac does a great discovery and notes that theres is a TV behind the cable. However, when trying to fit the picture to the screen it offers only two things:

• a smaller but sharp picture including the whole desktop but a large black area around it
• a picture filling the TV-screen which actually is to large leaving the outer limits of the desktop outside viewable area.

Can of course be something else, but just a DVI-to-HDMI adapter needs more than just pins.

I love this! Either they upgrade AppleTV with some more juice or the skip it and do something creative based on MacMini with HDMI output!!!
post #12 of 194
What would be interesting is if the Cinema displays get updated with HDMI.
post #13 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple management -- including Jobs -- felt Blu-ray licensing fees were too steep for the length of time they believed the technology would remain relevant in the market place. There were also reportedly both software and hardware related issues that would have demanded too much engineer effort to overcome.

What? More so then flickering, yellow 27" iMac screens?

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post #14 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post

I hope this means HDMI in for the iMacs - I'd love to be able to plug my PS3 into a new iMac and was terribly disappointed to discover that that wasn't possible with the recent models.

That has nothing to do with Mini DisplayPort and everything to do with HDCP.

If they had HDMI this won't change.
post #15 of 194
I hope they just enable audio on the mini-Displayport and make a mini-DP -> HDMI adapter available. I'd prefer Displayport to become more successful.
post #16 of 194
Wow. I totally don't care. Thanks for saving one adapter and instituting another. How would this be an improvement? I don't need to send audio to my cinema display and I would never use built-in speakers if they had them (personally). It's not like they could get rid of the other audio ports if they did this either. Sounds suspicious, except maybe for the mac mini. I guess there are more and more computer displays with HDMI, but usually as an optional port and not a primary. Whatever, so long as optical/ analog ports remain, who cares?
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post #17 of 194
I'm kind of tired of hearing about how often they mess with display adapter technology when we're STILL stuck with USB 2.0. I can't stand syncing my iPhone because it takes forever. Where's eSATA?

Computer speed has quadrupled in speed and the external technologies haven't changed in almost a decade.
post #18 of 194
HDMI may be coming but teh image is clearly faked, half a second with levels in PS shows that
post #19 of 194
What Apple really needs is a Fast pipe, something like Fire Wire but newer. I just got a HD camcorder about a month ago and USB 2.0 couldn't be any slower I think.
post #20 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasakka View Post

I hope they just enable audio on the mini-Displayport and make a mini-DP -> HDMI adapter available. I'd prefer Displayport to become more successful.

That is the best solution. A mDP port won't be replaced by HDMI but adding the audio (and data ) option to the cards would make using an HDMI adapter possible.

Only the Mac Pros and Mac mInis currently have multiple video source options. I can see the mDVI port going away and if HDMI is added then I think Blu-ray may then be an option from Apple.

However, I have to wonder if the claims of "HDMI spotted on Mac mini" are actually from the next generation AppleTV.
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post #21 of 194
Well it's about time! This would make a LOT of sense for the Mini, BUT, also NEEDS Blu-Ray!
post #22 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulinskip View Post

HDMI may be coming but teh image is clearly faked, half a second with levels in PS shows that

Of course it's fake. It's the same stock image from Apple's site, not a camera phone sneakily taking a pic in some Chinese factory. It's just to show you how it might look.
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post #23 of 194
Okay, maybe on the Mac mini, but I'd rather see two mini-DisplayPort connectors (w/audio) and an included mDP -> HDMI adapter on all their machines. Choose a standard (DisplayPort), stick with it, and provide adapters for everything else (HDMI, DVI, VGA, component, composite).
post #24 of 194
Clearly a fake image, come on guys, check your sources:

post #25 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Hmmm. I wonder if this means Blu-ray drives are a comin'. A home theater computer should contain everything the home theater needs, after all.

You need to look at what's going on around you, right in front of your face. Blockbuster is circling the drain. Hollywood Video has already assumed room temperature. Netflix is in the process of moving to online content delivery. iTunes is already there.

How much evidence does it take to get the picture? Physical media is on the way out and the trend is accelerating. Blu-ray is completely useless as a data storage or backup media when blank discs are expensive and one can buy a 1TB hard drive for under a hundred bucks. Online content delivery is "good enough" and getting better. The Blu-ray titles are twice as expensive as standard DVD. Walk into any video rental store, or Walmart and take a look at the Blu-ray section squirreled away n the corner. Blu-ray is a technology whose time has already come and gone. It's legacy will be as a transitional technology. Why people can't see that is a mystery to me.

So why should Apple waste its time and expense on a technology that is on the way out, just like the floppy disk drive was when the iMac was introduced?
post #26 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post

I hope this means HDMI in for the iMacs - I'd love to be able to plug my PS3 into a new iMac and was terribly disappointed to discover that that wasn't possible with the recent models.

Interesting...

I had assumed from the article that only hdmi out was being discussed. I didn't think the iMac was a great form factor for hdmi out since it would look rather odd having an iMac next to your wide screen tv. It makes much more sense for the mini.

But being able to hook up a game console or blue ray player to the iMac screen via hdmi in is much more compelling. I had never really thought about that.
post #27 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by tumme-totte View Post

Tried the other day to connect my MBP to a receiver thru a DVI-to-HDMI-cable. Works, but at least my ONKYO receiver and SHARP LCD-TV gave a couple of unwanted results. The Mac does a great discovery and notes that theres is a TV behind the cable. However, when trying to fit the picture to the screen it offers only two things:

a smaller but sharp picture including the whole desktop but a large black area around it
a picture filling the TV-screen which actually is to large leaving the outer limits of the desktop outside viewable area.

I had this exact problem. If you scroll to the top of the list of resolutions in Display preferences (with your TV plugged in), you'll see the proper HDTV resolutions, 720i, 1080i, 1080p, etc. They even have a little TV icon next to them, shame they're hidden. Make sure your TV doesn't have some kind of screen zooming on too.
post #28 of 194
Like many have already stated, there is really no need for HDMI ports on iMac for instance.
If they would just enable audio on the mDP that would be fine. They could sell an adapter for it
or let 3rd party handle that.

The adapters nowadays for mDP WITH audio are around 100 bucks. A bit expensive in my book.
post #29 of 194
just hope they can find a solution that works with existing miniDPs and not just a new hardware for new computers. if the existing minidp port doesnt support audio and it cant be addressed through software then maybe apple should make a dongle or cable that attaches to both the miniDP and the audio out and fuses into one, like the dongle that exists for the apple display for notebooks that fused power, video, etc into one cable instead of three
post #30 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasakka View Post

I hope they just enable audio on the mini-Displayport and make a mini-DP -> HDMI adapter available. I'd prefer Displayport to become more successful.

So do I. I'm a bit confused with all these formats. Wasn't it that Apple introduced the (Mini) Display Port because HDMI had limitations that would soon be exceeded?
post #31 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwee View Post

Like many have already stated, there is really no need for HDMI ports on iMac for instance.
If they would just enable audio on the mDP that would be fine. They could sell an adapter for it
or let 3rd party handle that.

The adapters nowadays for mDP WITH audio are around 100 bucks. A bit expensive in my book.

Since the audio would just come from the unused pins the adapters already being made will work just fine.

The cost for the mDP-to-HDMI w/audio isn't that expensive. I bought the one with audio over USB for $35 but now they have one with Toslink audio for $50. I think the USB one only allows for two-channel audio from the convertor, but I'd assume the toslink version would do multi-channel, otherwise what's the point?
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post #32 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I'm kind of tired of hearing about how often they mess with display adapter technology when we're STILL stuck with USB 2.0. I can't stand syncing my iPhone because it takes forever. Where's eSATA?

Computer speed has quadrupled in speed and the external technologies haven't changed in almost a decade.


Yea, I miss my old Firewire iPod.

I got myself the iPod Classic, loaded it up with all my playlists and music and left it like that, no constant updating needed.

Must be a pain for those with a large music library and a iPod Touch, waiting for it to load it up.
post #33 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by tumme-totte View Post

Tried the other day to connect my MBP to a receiver thru a DVI-to-HDMI-cable. Works, but at least my ONKYO receiver and SHARP LCD-TV gave a couple of unwanted results. The Mac does a great discovery and notes that theres is a TV behind the cable. However, when trying to fit the picture to the screen it offers only two things:

a smaller but sharp picture including the whole desktop but a large black area around it
a picture filling the TV-screen which actually is to large leaving the outer limits of the desktop outside viewable area.

Can of course be something else, but just a DVI-to-HDMI adapter needs more than just pins.

I love this! Either they upgrade AppleTV with some more juice or the skip it and do something creative based on MacMini with HDMI output!!!

I currently connects my 2009 Mini to my 26" LG LCD TV via a DVI ->HDMI converter cable, the picture is perfect on full screen. I did have your problems but there's an option on the TV menu where it will adjust the picture to fit full screen.

So I would say play around with the settings on both the computer and the TV and Im sure you will get a perfect picture soon.
post #34 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by requieminadream View Post

Clearly a fake image, come on guys, check your sources:

I'm pretty sure they know it is a fake image since they shopped it themselves. They didn't say they had images of the new mini, they just included that image to help us visualize how the port layout should look.
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post #35 of 194
about your tv :

the DVI connector is PERFECTLY AND TOTALLY FINE ! DVI _IS_ HDMI (without sound and hdcp crypting and some color space which not concern us, for your purpose : DVI = HDMI !)

DVI = HDMI

so, if your tv gives "weird" picture, you have to check :

- your mac use the correct resolution (1080p or 720p )
- your tv is configured to give full-pixel (the whole thing the computer is giving, no treatment, no weird video transformation or whatever)

you will obtain great picture.

--

about hdmi, ps3, imac and so on :

_NO_

you cannot connect a ps3 to the imac because the INTERNAL ELECTRONICS of the imac DISPLAY IS _NOT_ an DVI/HDMI display. is NOT

the ps3 need an HDMI/DVI display. the imac 27 is NOT an internal hdmi/dvi display.


the imac can OUTPUT hdmi/dvi/displayport signal to an EXTERNAL display, but the INTERNAL DISPLAY is only PURE displayport.

it is the goal :at term, the industry will use only one format to manage computer screens, both internal and external : displayport. Before displayport it was a mix of dvi and weird proprietary internal stuff : two electronics.

repeat after me : the ps3 needs a hdmi/dvi display, the imac 27 is NOT a hdmi/dvi display


-

HDMI on a mac mini will bring ONE thing : HDCP video support for your tv , the ability to play hdcp crypted content on your tv (itunes store has some hdcp content)
post #36 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

You need to look at what's going on around you, right in front of your face. Blockbuster is circling the drain. Hollywood Video has already assumed room temperature. Netflix is in the process of moving to online content delivery. iTunes is already there.

How much evidence does it take to get the picture? Physical media is on the way out and the trend is accelerating. Blu-ray is completely useless as a data storage or backup media when blank discs are expensive and one can buy a 1TB hard drive for under a hundred bucks. Online content delivery is "good enough" and getting better. The Blu-ray titles are twice as expensive as standard DVD. Walk into any video rental store, or Walmart and take a look at the Blu-ray section squirreled away n the corner. Blu-ray is a technology whose time has already come and gone. It's legacy will be as a transitional technology. Why people can't see that is a mystery to me.

So why should Apple waste its time and expense on a technology that is on the way out, just like the floppy disk drive was when the iMac was introduced?

Um, I'm going to go ahead and say:
1) declining physical media doesn't mean it's dead (PCs and Macs still play music CDs, don't they?); BD will likely never be as big as DVD was, but that doesn't mean it won't be the majority share of media
2) because all of your competitors offer the technology and not having said technology on your machines makes you look . . . decidedly "stick in the mud" from a competitive POV
3) because most educated people who follow this space understand that it has absolutely nothing to do with BD being un-attractive (that hasn't stopped virtually every other computer maker from incorporating the tech), and EVERYTHING to do with Apple pushing its own agenda and business model

As a household with an iMac, a MacBook several iPods and contemplating a MacBook Pro purchase, I can tell you that I won't buy another Apple computer until I can play my BD movies on them. This is a deal-killer for me, and I suspect anyone else with a decent sized BD media collection
post #37 of 194
BluRay, like Flash, is just a placeholder, while better things develop.

To not understand this, is to be left behind. I don't care that average AV heads don't get it, I'm just glad Apple does.

Being able to see more than 3 years into the future is why Apple is where they are, with what they have.
post #38 of 194
And pigs will fly!

Believe it when it is reality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Apple should move to Intel Light Peak: 10Gbps by 2010 to 2011 and up to 100 Gbps by 2020. One single connector rules them all.
post #39 of 194
I'll believe it when I see it.
post #40 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by oomu View Post

HDMI on a mac mini will bring ONE thing : HDCP video support for your tv , the ability to play hdcp crypted content on your tv (itunes store has some hdcp content)

I believe all Macs with mDP ports can output HDMI w/HDCP so only audio would be brought to the table but as mentioned earlier that is best down through adding audio support to mDP across the board, not adding another port for HDMI.
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