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Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter coming soon

post #1 of 103
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Owners of the Mini DisplayPort-equipped line of Apple notebooks who want an easier way to output video to their TV or other HDMI devices will soon have an option.

Discount cable outlet Monoprice.com will sell Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapters for $14.25 starting March 15th. Two other new adapters, offering to convert the Mini DisplayPort signal for either DVI or VGA, will be available that same day, providing customers with an alternative to Apple's adapters at more than half the cost. The vast majority of today's HDTVs have HDMI inputs, but DisplayPort is a relatively new player on the connection standard scene and connectors between the two are rare, especially for Mac owners.

Apple's new LED Cinema Display (review), MacBook (review) and MacBook Pro (review) introduced last October and last month incorporated Apple's own variation called Mini DisplayPort into the machines, replacing DVI with a much smaller port, but options to connect the new computer models to HDMI devices are extremely limited, if they exist at all. Amazon, for example, doesn't offer any except the larger DisplayPort standard, which Apple notebooks do not use.

Some users have worked around the problem with a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter that in turn feeds a DVI to HDMI cable, but that method may be less than ideal for many. It requires the purchase of two adapters and may not be aesthetically satisfying. Video quality may also be a concern in some cases.

The Mac maker sells Mini DisplayPort to VGA ($29) or DVI adapters ($29) through the Apple Store, but nothing for the HDMI standard. The Apple TV can output HDMI, but for users who want their whole desktop on their TVs, Monoprice's adapters go on sale in a little more than a month.

Additional DisplayPort Transition Coverage from AppleInsider
Inside the new MacBooks: Audio and Video
A closer look at Apple's move to NVIDIA chipsets, DisplayPort
Apple pushing Mini DisplayPort through no-fee licenses
Apple's mini connector set to be part of DisplayPort standard
post #2 of 103
The real question is whether these cables support audio over HDMI. If not, then why not just use a displayport->DVI adapter with a cheap monoprice DVI->HDMI cable? Or does that not support HDCP?
post #3 of 103
What I don't understand is why Apple doesn't include HDMI in their computers as the PC market has been doing for the last couple years.

I come home, take my notebook and plug in the HDMI cable and switch to Video 7 on my TV and turn on my wireless keyboard and mouse and have everthing I need to stream Hulu, surf the web without the need for any additional hardware or software.

Chasing the puck with 1 adapter after another.
post #4 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

The real question is whether these cables support audio over HDMI. If not, then why not just use a displayport->DVI adapter with a cheap monoprice DVI->HDMI cable? Or does that not support HDCP?

Absolutely - No-one's been clear on whether the mini-display port in the macbooks supports audio, although most suspicions are that it doesn't. Which still leaves us with plugging in the audio by analogue/toslink/USB to a seperate amp, or living with Mac speakers.

The real reason I'm interested in audio over display port? Well if the next mac mini has it (or even just a vanilla A/V HDMI connector), home theatre will become much easier...
post #5 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

What I don't understand is why Apple doesn't include HDMI in their computers as the PC market has been doing for the last couple years.

I come home, take my notebook and plug in the HDMI cable and switch to Video 7 on my TV and turn on my wireless keyboard and mouse and have everthing I need to stream Hulu, surf the web without the need for any additional hardware or software.

Chasing the puck with 1 adapter after another.

I agree. HDMI is the industry standard not only in the computer world but in the home intertainment world as well. Wasn't HDMI approved by the U.S. congress to simplify things? This seems to only make it more complicated.
post #6 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

What I don't understand is why Apple doesn't include HDMI in their computers as the PC market has been doing for the last couple years.

I come home, take my notebook and plug in the HDMI cable and switch to Video 7 on my TV and turn on my wireless keyboard and mouse and have everthing I need to stream Hulu, surf the web without the need for any additional hardware or software.

Chasing the puck with 1 adapter after another.

DisplayPort is the 'intelligent' HDMI, much like FireWire is the 'intelligent' USB. Unlike FireWire, however, DisplayPort is becoming the successor to HDMI in the computer world. HDMI is great for multi-source topologies, much like you'll find on home AV systems, while DisplayPort offers a different feature set that is attractive for computer use, such as daisy chaining. In AV systems, there's generally one display, and many sources, while in computers, there are generally multiple displays and one host.

The fact that the display signals are interchangeable makes the distinction more or less moot. Get a $15 adapter and call it a day.
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post #7 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoofHearted View Post

Absolutely - No-one's been clear on whether the mini-display port in the macbooks supports audio, although most suspicions are that it doesn't. Which still leaves us with plugging in the audio by analogue/toslink/USB to a seperate amp, or living with Mac speakers.

The real reason I'm interested in audio over display port? Well if the next mac mini has it (or even just a vanilla A/V HDMI connector), home theatre will become much easier...

Presumably you could have a combined cable with Audio and MiniDP at one end into HDMI at the other... but for $14 I suspect it doesn't.
post #8 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

What I don't understand is why Apple doesn't include HDMI in their computers as the PC market has been doing for the last couple years.

I come home, take my notebook and plug in the HDMI cable and switch to Video 7 on my TV and turn on my wireless keyboard and mouse and have everthing I need to stream Hulu, surf the web without the need for any additional hardware or software.

Chasing the puck with 1 adapter after another.

Because HDMI is a connect that has been tailored for connecting CE devices to HDTV and it comes with license fees.

DisplayPort is first and foremost a computer display interconnect and comes license free.

DP and HDMI have too different core focus.
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post #9 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post

DisplayPort is the 'intelligent' HDMI, much like FireWire is the 'intelligent' USB. Unlike FireWire, however, DisplayPort is becoming the successor to HDMI in the computer world. HDMI is great for multi-source topologies, much like you'll find on home AV systems, while DisplayPort offers a different feature set that is attractive for computer use, such as daisy chaining. In AV systems, there's generally one display, and many sources, while in computers, there are generally multiple displays and one host.

The fact that the display signals are interchangeable makes the distinction more or less moot. Get a $15 adapter and call it a day.

How many people actually "daisy chain" their computers? You can daisy chain HDMI as well with an mutil HDMI adapter if you need to daisy chain.
This example sounds like the tail wagging the dog.
post #10 of 103
HDMI is not a computer standard, it is a audio/video home entertainment standard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I agree. HDMI is the industry standard not only in the computer world but in the home intertainment world as well. HDMI was approved by the U.S. congress to simplify things- this is only making it more complicated.
post #11 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Because HDMI is a connect that has been tailored for connecting CE devices to HDTV and it comes with license fees.

DisplayPort is first and foremost a computer display interconnect and comes license free.

DP and HDMI have too different core focus.

So because Apple didn't invent HDMI and doesn't receive the license fee we should therefor be denied a simplified solution?
post #12 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

HDMI is not a computer standard, it is a audio/video home entertainment standard.

Is display port a computer standard?
post #13 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

HDMI is not a computer standard, it is a audio/video home entertainment standard.

One could argue that computers serve both purposes these days.

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post #14 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Some users have worked around the problem with a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter that in turn feeds a DVI to HDMI cable, but that method may be less than ideal for many. It requires the purchase of two adapters and may not be aesthetically satisfying. Video quality may also be a concern in some cases.

The video quality should be the same. In the case of most home theaters, the cable is going to be so short that it doesn't matter. If there's a projector in the mix (like I have), probably the better way to go is to get a multi-input active switch that can act as a repeater.

I don't know about the aesthetics, if it's hidden behind the computer, does it really matter? Or do people give tours behind shelves of their A/V systems? Besides, DVI to HDMI cables are cheap, you don't need a DVI to HDMI adapter if the cable has both ends on it. That cuts out the need for an unnecessary $15 adapter.
post #15 of 103
AFAIK, HDMI cannot handle the bandwidth that DisplayPort can.
post #16 of 103
1) Displayport is video only. So no, this adapter will not pass audio through HDMI since Displayport(like DVI before it) does not pass audio. You will still have to go Toslink for audio.

2) HDMI royalties likely have marginal effect considering how much we pay for our computers and how much less many HDMI equipped computers run. HDMI would take up room on the the side panel of the new MB/P that doesn't exist. Even if that room did exist, I'd far prefer to see it filled with Firewire on the MB and eSATA on the Pro.

3) The multi-cable approach likely will pass on HDCP compliance. DVI, DP and HDMI are all technically HDCP compliant physically. It's the GPU and software that make the diff.

4) The multi-cable approach will work with one thing to keep in mind. HDMI has a limit on signal transmission. Limit the DVI/HDMI cable length from the max a bit if using an DP/DVI adapter in front of it to make sure you don't get signal degradation. Other than that you should be fine.

5) Whoever was misunderstanding what the guy speaking of DP daisy-chaining was referring to. Think of a Firewire chain and then think of doing it with 4 1080p displays connected to just one DP 1.2 compliant port(presuming your GPU can drive that much screen real estate). You can't do that with HDMI or DVI.

This is a very helpful adapter especially if the upcoming Mini lacks HDMI and has only a single Mini-Displayport since I intend on using it in my HT.

What is still sorely missing is an adapter working in reverse order of what all the existing ones do. I need something that lets me use the new Cinema display on my "legacy" Mac. You know the one I bought a long 2 years ago that has the oh so old Dual Link DVI. Would be nice to use it on my G4 as well. Even if it costs $100 I'd pay it without issue to use that display on my existing Macs.
post #17 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Is display port a computer standard?

It is a VESA standard. The same group that defined the VESA mount bolt patterns for flat panel monitor arms, and that VESA Local Bus that was out maybe only a year before Intel's PCI bus wiped that clean off the map. I think they standardized a lot of the higher than VGA (SVGA, etc.) analog video modes.
post #18 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

AFAIK, HDMI cannot handle the bandwidth that DisplayPort can.

OK but DisplayPort cannot support the xvYCC color space, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream support, Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) signals, and electrical compatibility with DV as HDMI can.
post #19 of 103
Monoprice is great.
post #20 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

AFAIK, HDMI cannot handle the bandwidth that DisplayPort can.

Currently, both of the current standards can handle very similar data rates, really close to 10Gbps. Single link DVI goes up to 4Gbps.

Supposedly DP can scale a lot farther than than 10, but I don't think it's available yet.
post #21 of 103
This is great news. Monoprice makes some very high quality stuff at amazing prices.
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post #22 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post

Presumably you could have a combined cable with Audio and MiniDP at one end into HDMI at the other... but for $14 I suspect it doesn't.

I would say such an adapter is inevitable, and would suit my wants (needs is a bit overstrong) nicely. An HDMI adapter without audio sounds like a lot of hassle.
post #23 of 103
thanks to all - very helpful!
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post #24 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

So because Apple didn't invent HDMI and doesn't receive the license fee we should therefor be denied a simplified solution?

HDMI simplified? That's a matter of perception.

"ahh let's see does your Blu-ray have HDMI 1.1 ports or 1.2a or 1.3 or 1.3a" yup
that's as simplified as it gets

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Is display port a computer standard?

Yup as the poster before said it's a VESA standard

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallofRedmond View Post

1) Displayport is video only. So no, this adapter will not pass audio through HDMI since Displayport(like DVI before it) does not pass audio. You will still have to go Toslink for audio.

2) HDMI royalties likely have marginal effect considering how much we pay for our computers and how much less many HDMI equipped computers run. HDMI would take up room on the the side panel of the new MB/P that doesn't exist. Even if that room did exist, I'd far prefer to see it filled with Firewire on the MB and eSATA on the Pro.

1. The DisplayPort spec includes support for 8 channels of LPCM audio. Whether manufacturers are actually using this is unknown to me but the audio is there in the spec.

2. Agree the royalties are marginal for a company that ships hundreds of thousands of devices.



Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

OK but DisplayPort cannot support the xvYCC color space, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream support, Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) signals, and electrical compatibility with DV as HDMI can.

Hence HDMI is well suited for CE devices that need these features and DisplayPort is suited for computing applications. Thanks for taking us right back to the center of the issue.

HDMI- CE devices, HDTV
DisplayPort - Computers.

Sure there's overlap and that's why we need DP to HDMI cable and such.
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post #25 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Currently, both of the current standards can handle very similar data rates, really close to 10Gbps. Single link DVI goes up to 4Gbps.

Supposedly DP can scale a lot farther than than 10, but I don't think it's available yet.

Beside the fee issue, wouldn't HDMI be more desired because it carries better audio? Wouldn''t you want the best of both worlds?
post #26 of 103
But when are we going to get an HDMI to Mini-Displayport adapter so that I can plug my PS3 into the new LED Cinema Display? I'd buy one in a heartbeat if this was the case...
post #27 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

HDMI simplified? That's a matter of perception.

"ahh let's see does your Blu-ray have HDMI 1.1 ports or 1.2a or 1.3 or 1.3a" yup
that's as simplified as it gets

It seems like a silly stone to throw, DP is already on version 1.1a, which sounds a lot like they are following the same path.
post #28 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


Hence HDMI is well suited for CE devices that need these features and DisplayPort is suited for computing applications. Thanks for taking us right back to the center of the issue.

HDMI- CE devices, HDTV
DisplayPort - Computers.

Sure there's overlap and that's why we need DP to HDMI cable and such.

If HDMI carries audio and video (and at audio and videofile quality) why would you prefer a cable that does only one? Then wouldn't you need another cable from your mini audio jack-no?
post #29 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbw87 View Post

But when are we going to get an HDMI to Mini-Displayport adapter so that I can plug my PS3 into the new LED Cinema Display? I'd buy one in a heartbeat if this was the case...


That's sounds great if you're into silent gaming.
post #30 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It seems like a silly stone to throw, DP is already on version 1.1a, which sounds a lot like they are following the same path.

When taken from the context of version simplification I have no horse in this race. Both will walk the path of 1.x, 2.x upgrades.
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post #31 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

If HDMI carries audio and video (and at audio and videofile quality) why would you prefer a cable that does only one? Then wouldn't you need another cable from your mini audio jack-no?

DisplayPort will carry up to 8 channels of audio at up to 96khz.
It also has a 1mbps bi-direction auxiliary link which can be used for a varity of
signals (webcam, control signal etc)

The thing that makes DisplayPort the ideal solution to computing is that integrating it into chipsets is much easier because it never exceeds 2 volts. Plus it's not a raster based technology ..it uses up to 4 lanes so that if you have say a Netbook with that doesn't need 4 full links you can design it with say 2 lanes (links) reducing cost.

Most people don't know but HDMI has stringent demands for how it's routed through the computer. Vendors have to be careful in how they pass the cables through hinges and AIO computer are supposedly prohibited from having HDMI (I'll have to verify this through a web search )

In the end the bandwidth and unificatio of internal and external interfaces is largely going ot eradicate HDMI on the computer and those that need to bridge the two technologies will simply get the appropriate adapter.
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post #32 of 103
Well there goes the "Apple is just using minidisplay port to force us to buy an overpriced white Apple adapter" argument.

Now only if Dell and friends would get on board with minidisplay port faster...
post #33 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by bokuwaomar View Post

Well there goes the "Apple is just using minidisplay port to force them to buy an overpriced white Apple adapter" argument.

Now only if Dell and friends would get on board with minidisplay port faster...


Expect Dell to as they seem to be a proponent of DisplayPort and I think they'd want to save some port space as well on small items like laptops and the Dell Studio mini class computer.
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post #34 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbw87 View Post

But when are we going to get an HDMI to Mini-Displayport adapter so that I can plug my PS3 into the new LED Cinema Display? I'd buy one in a heartbeat if this was the case...

Can't you just turn the cable around? DVI to HDMI adapters work both ways.
post #35 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post

DisplayPort is the 'intelligent' HDMI, much like FireWire is the 'intelligent' USB. Unlike FireWire, however, DisplayPort is becoming the successor to HDMI in the computer world. HDMI is great for multi-source topologies, much like you'll find on home AV systems, while DisplayPort offers a different feature set that is attractive for computer use, such as daisy chaining. In AV systems, there's generally one display, and many sources, while in computers, there are generally multiple displays and one host.

The fact that the display signals are interchangeable makes the distinction more or less moot. Get a $15 adapter and call it a day.

Well, it's not "intelligent" enough to hook up to your TV without an adapter. People want simplicity not an adapter every time Apple changes their mind on what audio/video out their using in this years computers.

That is why the PC market has both on the "average" computer these days. They are giving the users what they want and asked for not what Apple tells them they need.
post #36 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

DisplayPort will carry up to 8 channels of audio at up to 96khz.
It also has a 1mbps bi-direction auxiliary link which can be used for a varity of
signals (webcam, control signal etc)

The thing that makes DisplayPort the ideal solution to computing is that integrating it into chipsets is much easier because it never exceeds 2 volts. Plus it's not a raster based technology ..it uses up to 4 lanes so that if you have say a Netbook with that doesn't need 4 full links you can design it with say 2 lanes (links) reducing cost.

Most people don't know but HDMI has stringent demands for how it's routed through the computer. Vendors have to be careful in how they pass the cables through hinges and AIO computer are supposedly prohibited from having HDMI (I'll have to verify this through a web search )

In the end the bandwidth and unificatio of internal and external interfaces is largely going ot eradicate HDMI on the computer and those that need to bridge the two technologies will simply get the appropriate adapter.


I think the point is the average comsumer doesn't want to know a single word you typed.

They want to see a simple HDMI slot on their computer and one cable going to their TV for Sound and Video.
post #37 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

Well, it's not "intelligent" enough to hook up to your TV without an adapter. People want simplicity not an adapter every time Apple changes their mind on what audio/video out their using in this years computers.

That is why the PC market has both on the "average" computer these days. They are giving the users what they want and asked for not what Apple tells them they need.

Apple isn't the first company to begin to move towards DisplayPort. Dell had one of the first displays with DP.

DisplayPort is intended to replace VGA, DVI and HDMI as the connector of choice for displays. It's design choices point towards computing applications hence the aux channel and daisy-chain capability.

PC tend to throw an abundance of ports into the computers and hope they hit their target with the scatter shotgun blast.

I like that Apple is definitive. Remember the iMac made USB the connectivity standard when PC were still using parallel ports because it was safe.
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post #38 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

I think the point is the average comsumer doesn't want to know a single word you typed.

They want to see a simple HDMI slot on their computer and one cable going to their TV for Sound and Video.

The avg consumer is not hooking their computer up to HDMI display
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post #39 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by STecchino View Post

Monoprice is great.

Ditto. Monoprice is great! Unless you need a cable immediately, there's no point looking at a store: monoprice.com, bluejeanscable.com, parts-express.com. Better quality and much better prices.
post #40 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

The avg consumer is not hooking their computer up to HDMI display


My brother and his wife are and they are about as computer illiterate as they come.
They use it everyday to watch Hulu.
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