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Inside the new MacBooks: Audio and Video

post #1 of 104
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Apple's new MacBook and MacBook Pro models present a variety of changes in the way audio and video are handled, including support for iPhone-style integrated mic headphones and the new DisplayPort standard. Here's what's new in audio and video.

Audio Inputs

The entire new MacBook line retains audio input and output with both regular electrical analog and optical digital (S/PDIF) connections. However, the new models also adopt the four conductor headphone jack introduced with the original iPhone, which enables the use of headphones with an integrated mic and remote playback controls.

Last month, the new iPod touch, nano and classic were also updated to support iPhone-style headphones to handle new audio recording features, and potentially VoIP features on the iPod touch. Apple has announced new sets of headphones due out later this month that provide an integrated mic and playback controls.

The MacBooks also have an omnidirectional mic integrated into the left side speaker grill (as earlier models did), but capturing audio conversations for podcasting and VoIP will greatly benefit from the new capacity for using mic-integrated headphones. The new MacBooks also continue to supply 2.1 audio, with two directional speakers for stereo imaging and a subwoofer for better bass response built into the center of the right side of the unit.

When an iPhone-style set of headphones with an integrated mic are plugged in, the Sound panel in System Preferences automatically switches audio input from the internal microphone (below top) to the external mic available in the headphones (below bottom).





PlainTalk to the iPhone mic

Apple hasn't supported a basic microphone input on the Mac since 1991, when it replaced the Mac's unpowered mic input with the PlainTalk line level input. Prior to that, Macs shipped with the "Apple Omni-directional Mic," an unpowered or "mic level," monophonic device.

Throughout the 90s, Apple shipped new Macs with its PlainTalk microphone, which used an extra long jack to supply power to the mic from the computer. By tapping power from the Mac, the PlainTalk mic could boost its output from mic level to "line level." The line level mic inputs that have been on all Macs since (apart from a few models with no mic input at all) have therefore required a line level microphone. Most cheap mics designed for use with generic PCs are unpowered and therefore do not deliver a strong enough signal to be used with the Mac's line level audio input.

In order to use an unpowered mic, Mac users have previously needed to either attach a preamp between the unpowered mic and the line level input to boost the mic's output to line level, or alternatively use a digital USB mic, such as the Snowball from Blue, or some other USB or Firewire driven audio input device such as the Griffin iMic. For a period of time around the delivery of the PowerMac G4 Cube, Mac desktops and notebooks dropped PlainTalk analog mic inputs entirely as Apple expected everyone to use a USB mic.

Line level mic inputs later returned, and since the MacBook arrived in 2006, most Mac models have sported a line level input that can input 24-bit stereo at a 44.1-192kHz sampling rate and also accommodate an optical digital mini-toslink S/PDIF input at the same audio resolution. With the latest MacBooks, the headphone jack can also now support audio input using a fairly standard four conductor jack.

Video and Display

Physically, the glass panel covering the screen on both new MacBook models is listed by Apple as "not a serviceable part," according to sources familiar with its design. The company's policy on servicing a broken glass panel notes that "any attempt to remove the panel can shatter the glass, which could lead to other damaged parts. Broken or scratch glass panels will instead be addressed by replacing the entire display module."

The new Mini DisplayPort contributes toward a much more compact array of expansion ports on the left side of the machine. Looking at the logic board (below), it's obvious why such a difference in physical port size matters. The MacBook's motherboard is only a bit larger than a quarter of the surface area inside the machine, and its left edge offers no vacancies for additional ports or a full sized DVI connector.



Unlike VGA, DVI, and HDMI, DisplayPort is more than just a way to deliver a video signal between devices; it is also designed to replace the LVDS cabling used internally in notebooks and inside displays. The more sophisticated signaling of DisplayPort, and the subsequent need for fewer wires to deliver the signal, will not only allow manufacturers to make slimmer display case designs, but also affords Apple the ability to add support for multiple internal displays on its notebooks in the future, such as an LCD panel built into the trackpad. DisplayPort is also designed with the potential to allow a single cable to drive multiple monitors.

Despite using the new Mini DisplayPort for external video displays, the new MacBooks continue to use LVDS cabling internally to drive the built in display. This results in needing to route a delicate bundle of a large number of wires from the logic board through the hinge and to the display panel. Future models may likely take advantage of the DisplayPort standard internally to replace this thick display cable with a simpler, thinner signal cable once LCD panel makers start adopting DisplayPort themselves.

The mini DisplayPort catch-22

Mini DisplayPort also allows even the entry level MacBook to support the 2560x1600 resolution of Apple's most expensive 30" Cinema Display without needing the large, 24-pin connector demanded by dual-link DVI on the relatively small notebook. The muscle to drive that resolution is provided by NVIDIA's 9400M controller chip; the previous MacBook, using integrated Intel graphics, lacked the capacity to drive a 30" resolution display despite having a DVI connector with the pins available. Resolutions lower than 30" only require single-link DVI, which uses 6 fewer pins on the DVI port, although the connector itself is the same size.

The new MacBooks now have the best of both worlds: a small connector and the capacity to handle very high resolution. Somewhat ironically, the converter for adapting the MacBook's Mini DisplayPort for use with the dual-link DVI signal required by the 30" Cinema Display not only costs $99, but it's not even available for purchase yet.

Dell makes a 30" monitor of its own that uses DisplayPort, although the "Mini DisplayPort" used by Apple isn't common (it appears Apple invented it) and therefore cables aren't yet readily available to connect the new MacBooks to a third party, full size DisplayPort-equipped screen either. Apple's new 24" LED Cinema Display uses Mini DisplayPort exclusively, so it can only be used by the new MacBook and MacBook Pro. There are no converter boxes for turning DVI signals from a Mac mini or Mac Pro into DisplayPort, which uses not just different physical wiring but an entirely different signaling protocol.

In other words, during the transition from DVI-based Macs to DisplayPort, there are a number of things that won't work together. From this point forward, all new Macs will have DisplayPort (likely Apple's Mini variant, as there is no obvious advantage to using the larger version), and new Cinema Displays will also eventually gain the new connector. Existing 30" displays will require a somewhat expensive box (although if you can afford a 30" screen, you're probably not sweating over a $99 converter), but other displays only need the $30 VGA or single-link DVI dongle to work with a new mini DisplayPort Mac.

The Apple TV will likely retain HDMI rather than mini DisplayPort, as it doesn't need to drive display resolutions higher than HDTV's 1920x1080, which HDMI has no problem doing. DisplayPort is only required for driving higher resolution monitors with 30" 2560x1600 resolutions or greater.

Other Segments from our Inside the new MacBooks series

Apple details new MacBook manufacturing process
A closer look at Apple's move to NVIDIA chipsets, DisplayPort
Inside the new MacBooks: LSI, Battery, HD, and RAM
Inside the new MacBooks: FireWire, USB, and the NVIDIA Controller
post #2 of 104
Any word yet on whether the new machines support audio out via mini DisplayPort? I'd love to (eventually) pick up a miniDP->HDMI adapter and use a single cable with my HDTV.
post #3 of 104
In a possible near future when DisplayPort is the dominant connector, Mac users will still have to carry around adapter cables because Apple have used a non-standard 'mini' DisplayPort connector.

Being in an office, or at someone's house, there always be that moment of "Oh no, I've left the cable in my other bag, so now I can't connect because my Mac is incompatible with the whole world".

DisplayPort, yes, maybe the future.
mini DisplayPort, no, totally isolated.

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post #4 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

In a possible near future when DisplayPort is the dominant connector, Mac users will still have to carry around adapter cables because Apple have used a non-standard 'mini' DisplayPort connector.

Being in an office, or at someone's house, there always be that moment of "Oh no, I've left the cable in my other bag, so now I can't connect because my Mac is incompatible with the whole world".

DisplayPort, yes, maybe the future.
mini DisplayPort, no, totally isolated.

mini DisplayPort is just like mini VGA and mini DVI - completely nonstandard, which requires the use of an adapter to connect ANYTHING. Dongles such as these are annoying for the exact reason that you've stated, the "I've left my cable in the other bag" syndrome.

Even my last-gen MacBook Pro with a full-size DVI port needs an adapter because most projectors still use VGA...
(except that DVI-VGA adapters are actually fairly common)
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post #5 of 104
What would have been nice is giving the MacBook Air the four conductor headphone jack - enables the use of headphones with an integrated mic and remote playback controls.

Cheers Daniel
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post #6 of 104
What about audio out from the new mini displayport on the new MBP? I know audio out is part of the DisplayPort specification, but if you parse everything that Apple has said about mini displayport, they suspiciously fail to mention audio every single time. How about a mini to standard displayport - does anyone have an idea if Apple will ever make one? I ordered the new MBP, but this new connector has me wondering if I made a mistake. I can't imagine needing anything higher res than HDTV in the next three years. Most of the time, I can't even get a projector that handles more than VGA so I'm worried that DisplayPort is not only future-proof but also present-proof if I can't connect it to anything in the near future without a bag of adapters.
post #7 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by c3fcc View Post

...if I can't connect it to anything in the near future without a bag of adapters.

Well... even if they'd kept DVI you'd still need a "bag of adapters" to connect to DVI and HDMI and VGA and anything else. Call it an "adaptor" or an "X to Y" cable, you still need one and you're still SOL without it.

Reminds me of the days when they started playing around with the SCSI specification and you needed a half-dozen cables and adaptors to connect anything to anything.
post #8 of 104
I suspect it DOES carry audio, because the new 24" screen has speakers, and no audio cable to connect it to.

here:
http://www.apple.com/displays/features.html

no audio cable needed...oh wait...it very well could be using USB for audio. Crud, so we STILL don't know for sure.
post #9 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianpeat View Post

I suspect it DOES carry audio, because the new 24" screen has speakers, and no audio cable to connect it to.

here:
http://www.apple.com/displays/features.html

no audio cable needed...oh wait...it very well could be using USB for audio. Crud, so we STILL don't know for sure.

I has been reported that the speakers don't activate unless the USB is connected. It's probably USB audio.

An official comment on whether mini-DP supports audio would be nice. That may well be the sacrifice they made to get the port size down.
post #10 of 104
Does miniDP have the entire functionality of standard DP? If it does, why didn't VESA standardize this mini port and make it the full-sized port? Apple doesn't talk about audio support through miniDP, which standard DP enables. In fact, Apple's new built-in Cinema Display speakers don't activate until you plug in the USB part of the cable. I'm not calling that proof that miniDP doesn't support audio though. It could have been a design decision.

If miniDP doesn't support all the features of standard DP, would it be as simple as getting a miniDP to DP adapter to get full functionality? I'm not a technical guy, I don't know.
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post #11 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

In a possible near future when DisplayPort is the dominant connector, Mac users will still have to carry around adapter cables because Apple have used a non-standard 'mini' DisplayPort connector.

Being in an office, or at someone's house, there always be that moment of "Oh no, I've left the cable in my other bag, so now I can't connect because my Mac is incompatible with the whole world".

DisplayPort, yes, maybe the future.
mini DisplayPort, no, totally isolated.

There are many more ways of getting someone to see the content besides plugging it into a TV set. While this may be a problem of sorts (if you forget your connector), it's not like there aren't a dozen ways around it if you want to show people content that is on your laptop.

Seems to me this would primarily be a problem only if you wanted to do some work at someone else's office and they didn't have connectors and you forgot yours. This is pretty much always the case and always has been.
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post #12 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

I has been reported that the speakers don't activate unless the USB is connected. It's probably USB audio.

An official comment on whether mini-DP supports audio would be nice. That may well be the sacrifice they made to get the port size down.

DisplayPort can tunnel HDMI, which includes audio. DisplayPort 1.1 can also do HDCP, I expect that this is the version that Apple are including.

I expect that the lack of audio over DP is because the drivers aren't ready rather than because it can't do it. Or it could be a limitation in the monitor itself. WIkipedia says DisplayPort can carry audio but doesn't go into detail.
post #13 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

In a possible near future when DisplayPort is the dominant connector, Mac users will still have to carry around adapter cables because Apple have used a non-standard 'mini' DisplayPort connector.

Being in an office, or at someone's house, there always be that moment of "Oh no, I've left the cable in my other bag, so now I can't connect because my Mac is incompatible with the whole world".

DisplayPort, yes, maybe the future.
mini DisplayPort, no, totally isolated.

Just for your information, I checked on the vesa site. The full-sized display-port connector is 4 cm wide (I let you convert that in inches if you need).

With a full-sized display port, you wouldn't get neither USB nor Ethernet. That's as simple as that.
post #14 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

There are many more ways of getting someone to see the content besides plugging it into a TV set. While this may be a problem of sorts (if you forget your connector), it's not like there aren't a dozen ways around it if you want to show people content that is on your laptop.

Seems to me this would primarily be a problem only if you wanted to do some work at someone else's office and they didn't have connectors and you forgot yours. This is pretty much always the case and always has been.

Hi Virgil-TB2,

In the standard business discussion, everyone is around a table with their windows PCs and there's a projector and they can ALWAYS connect - no cables needed. If a company was using a projector with a new cable, they would already have some adaptor, in anticipation. All the PC users would be able to connect, only the Mac user would not. Business users never walk around an office with a pocket full of cables.

I am concerned because I want Apple to succeed in business since OSX is clearly superior to Windows. But when everyone is looking at the Mac guy with pity, it really does not help.

P.

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post #15 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Hi Virgil-TB2,

In the standard business discussion, everyone is around a table with their windows PCs and there's a projector and they can ALWAYS connect - no cables needed. If a company was using a projector with a new cable, they would already have some adaptor, in anticipation. All the PC users would be able to connect, only the Mac user would not. Business users never walk around an office with a pocket full of cables...

Okay. It wasn't clear earlier what the scenario was.

I would still argue that this is not really different from the current state of affairs. I've been setting up projectors for these kinds of meetings for years and years and *mostly* all the projectors still have VGA connectors only, even today, so there is almost always a need for an adapter if the laptop doesn't have VGA output.

It's really up to the person with the laptop to have their connector with them and this new connector will be no different. It's desirable for the presentation centre or office IT guys to have connectors for all different laptops of course, in case the visitor forgets theirs which is alarmingly common for sure. In my experience however, most places don't carry connectors for Macs (because they are frowned upon by the Windows guys), so there is even more reason for the visitor with the mac to bring their own adapter.

This whole situation is regrettable of course, but still not so different with this new connector than with any of the old ones. The only way it will ever be solved is if computer manufacturers agree on a standard, which is exactly what Apple's move to the display port is all about. The new mini version is (currently) "non-standard" but still within the open spec as far as I understand, so there is hope that it will be picked up by other manufacturers also.

The real bottom line on the source of these kinds of problems though is the slowness of WinTel manufacturers to get on board with new standards and their reluctance to support standards.

I guess in the end it just bothers me a bit that Apple, who's behaviour in supporting and promoting new and open standards in these areas, can only be described as "exemplary" is getting heat for trying to do the right thing.
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post #16 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

DisplayPort can tunnel HDMI, which includes audio. DisplayPort 1.1 can also do HDCP, I expect that this is the version that Apple are including.

I expect that the lack of audio over DP is because the drivers aren't ready rather than because it can't do it. Or it could be a limitation in the monitor itself. WIkipedia says DisplayPort can carry audio but doesn't go into detail.

I believe that audio over DP is an optional part of the standard. So Apple could have designed mini-DP without audio support and still claim full compatibility.
post #17 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Okay. It wasn't clear earlier what the scenario was.

I would still argue that this is not really different from the current state of affairs. I've been setting up projectors for these kinds of meetings for years and years and *mostly* all the projectors still have VGA connectors only, even today, so there is almost always a need for an adapter if the laptop doesn't have VGA output.

It's really up to the person with the laptop to have their connector with them and this new connector will be no different. It's desirable for the presentation centre or office IT guys to have connectors for all different laptops of course, in case the visitor forgets theirs which is alarmingly common for sure. In my experience however, most places don't carry connectors for Macs (because they are frowned upon by the Windows guys), so there is even more reason for the visitor with the mac to bring their own adapter.

This whole situation is regrettable of course, but still not so different with this new connector than with any of the old ones. The only way it will ever be solved is if computer manufacturers agree on a standard, which is exactly what Apple's move to the display port is all about. The new mini version is (currently) "non-standard" but still within the open spec as far as I understand, so there is hope that it will be picked up by other manufacturers also.

The real bottom line on the source of these kinds of problems though is the slowness of WinTel manufacturers to get on board with new standards and their reluctance to support standards.

I guess in the end it just bothers me a bit that Apple, who's behaviour in supporting and promoting new and open standards in these areas, can only be described as "exemplary" is getting heat for trying to do the right thing.

No, the problem is Apple using ports other than DVI or VGA - those are common, mini DVI/VGA or mini Displayport are not. Most of the business world runs on Windows, and most projectors have a VGA cable, but if your laptop has DVI or HDMI, you'll just have to remember to bring the right cable/adapter. It's simple as that.

And as it stands, there are only a handful of PC video cards that even have Displayports. It's not much of a standard when hardly anyone supports it ATM.

Apple is doing it to make their laptops smaller, which is fine but if they wanted to do the 'right thing', they would be including those adapters in the box, rather than charging $29 for them.
post #18 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

The real bottom line on the source of these kinds of problems though is the slowness of WinTel manufacturers to get on board with new standards and their reluctance to support standards.

I guess in the end it just bothers me a bit that Apple, who's behaviour in supporting and promoting new and open standards in these areas, can only be described as "exemplary" is getting heat for trying to do the right thing.

Dell, Toshiba, Sony, HP, started introducing Display Ports into their products months before the new Macs were introduced, so I wouldn't go putting Apple on a pedestal, they're following not leading. You just didn't hear much of an outcry, because the other manufacturers continued to include VGA/DVI/HDMI as options. So great news for Display Port, and the business/conference/IT guys will start to acquire the Display Port cables as more and more PC people start asking for them. But even when that happens, Apple's decision to go with a physically proprietary Display Port leaves Mac users in the dust. Yeah thanks Apple, think different, not think stupid.
post #19 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

I am concerned because I want Apple to succeed in business since OSX is clearly superior to Windows. But when everyone is looking at the Mac guy with pity, it really does not help.

P.

I have had presentations in many meetings/boardrooms with my Mac and I can tell you that I have yet to see any PC user looking at me with pity, rather than with envy.
Apart from having more sophisticated presentations via Keynote, connectivity was truly secondary.

You are right, most PC users did have the typical 30+ years old VGA port on their laptops that connect to the usual projectors, but while I needed an adapter, I also had my Mac running the projector in no time.
The biggest struggle I have seen PC users deal with is to get the external projector be recognized as a second/mirrored display.

And missing adapter will make you appear unprepared, but not clueless in front of a group
post #20 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

Apple is doing it to make their laptops smaller, which is fine but if they wanted to do the 'right thing', they would be including those adapters in the box, rather than charging $29 for them.

I second that. Unfortunately, this has been Apple's practice to achieve lower appearing price points.

But keep in mind that this is a normal retail practice and is generally preferred by retailers (not by customers).
Just think of many consumer electronics & printers with missing USB or HDMI cables. Stores are happy to sell you high-margin aftermarket Monster or Belkin cables just to get your new purchase working.

The problem is that Apple is not consistent and often starts removing accessories through its product revisions, so you feel that you get less than you did before. iPod accessories or Apple remotes are perfect examples.
post #21 of 104
I noticed there is no miniDisplayPort to Composite/S-Video adapter either.

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post #22 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post

Dell, Toshiba, Sony, HP, started introducing Display Ports into their products months before the new Macs were introduced, so I wouldn't go putting Apple on a pedestal, they're following not leading. You just didn't hear much of an outcry, because the other manufacturers continued to include VGA/DVI/HDMI as options. So great news for Display Port, and the business/conference/IT guys will start to acquire the Display Port cables as more and more PC people start asking for them. But even when that happens, Apple's decision to go with a physically proprietary Display Port leaves Mac users in the dust. Yeah thanks Apple, think different, not think stupid.

Yes, this is the scenario that I am imagining. That in a few years time the DisplayPort standard ( which sounds really good ) will be quite common, but all based on the standard size connector, not the mini version. So, in someone else's office, someone will probably be able to produce an adapter from their equipment to DisplayPort, but not for mini DisplayPort. And, since the mini DisplayPort on the Macbook is very close to the USB port, there will need to be a bit of cable too. In business, you will always be able to tell the Mac guy by the bulge in his trousers. ( DisplayPort to mini DisplayPort << this is the stupid bit )

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post #23 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Yes, this is the scenario that I am imagining. That in a few years time the DisplayPort standard ( which sounds really good ) will be quite common, but all based on the standard size connector, not the mini version. So, in someone else's office, someone will probably be able to produce an adapter from their equipment to DisplayPort, but not for mini DisplayPort. And, since the mini DisplayPort on the Macbook is very close to the USB port, there will need to be a bit of cable too. In business, you will always be able to tell the Mac guy by the bulge in his trousers. ( DisplayPort to mini DisplayPort )

The notebook market overall is moving to smaller and lighter. Their is no reason why they wouldn't use the mini- DP port.

Apple moved it's entire line to USB before anyone else widely adopted it. PC manufacturers continued to support parallel ports for years afterward.
post #24 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

The notebook market overall is moving to smaller and lighter. Their is no reason why they wouldn't use the mini- DP port.

Apple moved it's entire line to USB before anyone else widely adopted it. PC manufacturers continued to support parallel ports for years afterward.

Apple have now created a competition against a good standard that was already gathering momentum. Either Apple will have to move to the standard DisplayPort connector in future Macs, or Dell, Toshiba, Sony and HP, which already use the standard, will have to switch to Apple's non-standard connector size. Businesses will evolve to one of these, not both, and IT departments are already anti-mac.

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post #25 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Video and Display... lacked the capacity to drive a 30" resolution display despite having a DVI connector with the pins available. Resolutions lower than 30" only require single-link DVI...

30" is not a resolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The new MacBooks now have the best of both worlds: a small connector and the capacity to handle very high resolution. Somewhat ironically, the converter for adapting the MacBook's Mini DisplayPort for use with the dual-link DVI signal required by the 30" Cinema Display not only costs $99, but it's not even available for purchase yet.

And it also appears to require both the Mini DisplayPort and a free USB port -- i.e., if it can be used with the MacBook Air, you have no more USB ports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... although the "Mini DisplayPort" used by Apple isn't common (it appears Apple invented it)...

Mini DisplayPort is a proposal working its way into the DisplayPort standard. Without any additional details, I would equate Apple's implementation of Mini DisplayPort with the pre-N routers of a few years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

There are no converter boxes for turning DVI signals from a Mac mini or Mac Pro into DisplayPort, which uses not just different physical wiring but an entirely different signaling protocol.

And here I thought AppleInsider was claiming that Mini DisplayPort was "backwardly compatible with VGA, DVI, and dual-link DVI..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The Apple TV will likely retain HDMI rather than mini DisplayPort, as it doesn't need to drive display resolutions higher than HDTV's 1920x1080, which HDMI has no problem doing.

But then Apple won't be able to sell you a $30 adapter... I think the Mac Mini will also get Mini DisplayPort.
post #26 of 104
Does this mean that over time if you buy an Apple you will be forced to use their shitty glass screens? What the fuck is up with Apple lately, they becoming worse than Microsoft.
post #27 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Businesses will evolve to one of these, not both, and IT departments are already anti-mac.

I recommend staying away from generalizations. I am not sure about the UK, or you are working with IT teams that are not particularly flexible, but I have observed different trends with the companies I am working with, particularly...

- IT used to dictate OS platforms and supported hardware for PC's & mobile devices. I have seen the reverse trend. Users (especially top-down) now dictate which platform they choose & require support for. I guess this includes cables... Business users don't care what IT thinks anyway

- The myth of Windows OS-based platforms to reduce TCO (Total cost of ownership) has unravelled. I haven't seen anybody dare to push that argument anymore. Same BS as they used for build versus buy in enterprise software.

- IT itself has become more Mac friendly; I have yet to see anybody in our (12,000 sf) data center with a PC laptop. Everybody uses MB's/MBP's to manage servers, networks, telecom and remote support. There is simply no better machine to support a multi-OS environment.

Again, my personal observations, particularly mid-size companies...
post #28 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

Does this mean that over time if you buy an Apple you will be forced to use their shitty glass screens? What the fuck is up with Apple lately, they becoming worse than Microsoft.

Worse than Microsoft? While I prefer matte screens myself, could you point out which other PC maker offers laptops with matte or glossy screens?
post #29 of 104
Can anyone let us know if the new MB/MBP have the bloop/bleep problem with audio recent MBP and iMacs have had? (The issue is after playing a sound, an annoying tone will continue to play after the sound stops until a new sound is made.)

I find the tones really bothersome when using headphones or through my stereo, and I'm hoping that problem doesn't continue into the new machines.
post #30 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post

Dell, Toshiba, Sony, HP, started introducing Display Ports into their products months before the new Macs were introduced, so I wouldn't go putting Apple on a pedestal, they're following not leading. ...

I was talking about history really, not the specifics of this latest implementation.

Apple has always "led the way" with new standards and basically promoted the heck out of them. WinTel companies have historically failed to pick up anything new, and when they have, they have left the old ports right beside them. It's the laziness of manufacturers that just put every port known on the sides of their devices that are actually the problem. Give people an "easy way out" and the ability to use their ancient equipment ten years after it's out of date, and they will.

That's not how you get a new standard adopted. That's why multi-thousand dollar projectors still have VGA ports as their main (or only!) input ten years after VGA was a standard of any real usefulness. It's this very fracturing of standards, prevalent in the non-Apple PC world that causes all the problems.

Making a standard work requires it to be open, and for everyone to get behind it and push. Apples ADC connector could have been the display port of it's day, but WinTel manufacturers chose to completely ignore it.

Now Apple has (for the second time in recent memory):

- Got behind the biggest, most open video connector standard of the day
- Developed it further with their own engineers and given that work back to the community

Yet they get hassled to death over it before the products are even hardly for sale!

I think people are being ungrateful, short-sighted idiots about this just as they were with all Apple's previous attempts to get the WinTel manufacturers on board with *some* kind of standard.

It's like the FireWire/USB choice they had to make in the recent MacBook. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #31 of 104
It's gonna get pretty ugly in a year or so when Apple is the only computer maker to offer a DisplayPort interface. Probably no other computer manufacturer will use it just to spite Apple. It's the proverbial "Don't leave me hanging." But, of course, Apple users will be left "hanging" bareass to the wind. DisplayPort may be great and all that, but Apple seems to like going on it's own path regardless of the fact that Windows PC manufacturers are going to go the cheapest way possible.

Did they say that Apple invented the DisplayPort? All Microsoft has to do is get wind of that and that will be the end of DisplayPort for any Windows use. I guess DisplayPort will be Apple's SCSI connector for displays. And we know how well SCSI went over for consumer hard drives.
post #32 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Apple have now created a competition against a good standard that was already gathering momentum. Either Apple will have to move to the standard DisplayPort connector in future Macs, or Dell, Toshiba, Sony and HP, which already use the standard, will have to switch to Apple's non-standard connector size. Businesses will evolve to one of these, not both, and IT departments are already anti-mac.

There are various port sizes between USB and Firewire. The different sizes don't compete directly with each other, they provide differing features.

Full size DP and miniDP won't compete against each other. They are the same standard and their will be connectors that will fit either. Just as their are connectors that run from 4 pin Firewire to 6 pin Firewire.
post #33 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

It's gonna get pretty ugly in a year or so when Apple is the only computer maker to offer a DisplayPort interface. Probably no other computer manufacturer will use it just to spite Apple. It's the proverbial "Don't leave me hanging." But, of course, Apple users will be left "hanging" bareass to the wind. DisplayPort may be great and all that, but Apple seems to like going on it's own path regardless of the fact that Windows PC manufacturers are going to go the cheapest way possible.

Did they say that Apple invented the DisplayPort? All Microsoft has to do is get wind of that and that will be the end of DisplayPort for any Windows use. I guess DisplayPort will be Apple's SCSI connector for displays. And we know how well SCSI went over for consumer hard drives.

Dell and HP have already begun to support Display Port.

Display Port is the cheapest way possible. Its free.

No Apple did not invent Display Port. Its a VESA standard. The mini port is Apples creation and has not been officially made apart of the standard. But their is no reason why it could not be.
post #34 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by EauVive View Post

Just for your information, I checked on the vesa site. The full-sized display-port connector is 4 cm wide (I let you convert that in inches if you need).

With a full-sized display port, you wouldn't get neither USB nor Ethernet. That's as simple as that.

That's the size of a internal circuit-board connection. The width of the cut-out required for an external device connection, according to the 238 page spec that I have, is 17.10 ± 0.10 mm.

There is ample room for the standard version. The only reason Apple can have for using this is to attempt to close off the platform. Again.

I love Apple's products, hard and soft, but sometimes their decisions are so mule-headed, I just want to scream!
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Calvin
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post #35 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

It's gonna get pretty ugly in a year or so when Apple is the only computer maker to offer a DisplayPort interface. Probably no other computer manufacturer will use it just to spite Apple. It's the proverbial "Don't leave me hanging." But, of course, Apple users will be left "hanging" bareass to the wind. DisplayPort may be great and all that, but Apple seems to like going on it's own path regardless of the fact that Windows PC manufacturers are going to go the cheapest way possible.

Did they say that Apple invented the DisplayPort? All Microsoft has to do is get wind of that and that will be the end of DisplayPort for any Windows use. I guess DisplayPort will be Apple's SCSI connector for displays. And we know how well SCSI went over for consumer hard drives.

Not sure about that. In the laptop business, Apple is a big player, not a small one. The fastest growth in market share on computers with by far the highest margins in the industry. They are the envy of the industry.

And the outlook even in bad economic times favors Apple, because they produce products that people want to buy.
Who would have thought that an Apple proprietary connector would become standard fare in cars and whole house audio systems? Mac sales won't go the dramatic way of the iPod, but the accessory market has long recognized that the most money is made with Apple add-on goodies...
post #36 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by cal6n View Post

That's the size of a internal circuit-board connection. The width of the cut-out required for an external device connection, according to the 238 page spec that I have, is 17.10 ± 0.10 mm.

There is ample room for the standard version. The only reason Apple can have for using this is to attempt to close off the platform. Again.

I love Apple's products, hard and soft, but sometimes their decisions are so mule-headed, I just want to scream!

You are being too short sighted. There may not be room in their future products.
-JD
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-JD
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post #37 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

In the standard business discussion, everyone is around a table with their windows PCs and there's a projector and they can ALWAYS connect - no cables needed.
P.

Funny, and why do almost all projectors are still VGA-only (or at least the cable running from the ceiling-mounted projector to the presenter's table is VGA-only)? Because almost all Windows laptops still have only VGA (at least the compact business-type laptops). And why do almost all Windows laptops still have only VGA? Because almost all projectors only have VGA...

What a way to advance technology. I rather carry a DVI-to-VGA adaptor with me than be part of that mediocrity (and enjoy digital display quality whenever my laptop is connected to a real display not a projector). Maybe in five years all LCDs will have a DisplayPort connector but projectors will only have cought up with DVI (or they will still be at VGA).
post #38 of 104
Quote:
And it also appears to require both the Mini DisplayPort and a free USB port -- i.e., if it can be used with the MacBook Air, you have no more USB ports.

This is likely incorrect. The USB connection is for the hub in the monitor.
post #39 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwdawso View Post

You are being too short sighted. There may not be room in their future products.

What? Of course there's room. The engineers can make room, but only if management let them.

DisplayPort is an engineering standard. It's been drawn up by a consortium of interests including Apple themselves, Intel, AMD (and therefore ATI), NVidia, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Samsung, Foxconn, Molex and Kawasaki. Apple have had the option to inter-operate with the rest of the industry but instead they have chosen to wall themselves and their users away.

In five years time, it's likely that DisplayPort will be as common as DVI, while Mini DisplayPort will be as rare as ADC.

The only hope is that Apple don't have any form of patent attached to their version. If they do then 3rd party adapters will be very thin on the ground.
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Calvin
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post #40 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by cal6n View Post

Apple have had the option to inter-operate with the rest of the industry but instead they have chosen to wall themselves and their users away.

In five years time, it's likely that DisplayPort will be as common as DVI, while Mini DisplayPort will be as rare as ADC.

The only hope is that Apple don't have any form of patent attached to their version. If they do then 3rd party adapters will be very thin on the ground.

You use a lot of speculation to come to your conclusion.

The point of DP is to be an open standard. To patent any part of it is counter productive and I'm sure violates the agreement to use the standard. Apple supports many open standards.

The point of open standards is to allow anyone to be free to use the mini-port and third parties will be free to make full to mini connectors.
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