Apple hints at first-party Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
The specification sheet for Apple's new line of MacBook Pro notebooks states that HDMI output is possible using an optional Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, hinting that Apple could release a first-party solution [Update: New ports support audio output].



The bullet point is included under the "Pure digital video output" section of the technical specifications for Apple's new MacBook Pro machines. It advertises the functionality as: "HDMI output using Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter (optional)."



Apple does not make a first-party Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, and there is no sign of one yet on the Apple store. Existing third-party options have been available since early 2009 for under $20. Such cables allow Macs to be connected to nearly any HDTV with HDMI for video output.



Apple does sell first-party Mini DisplayPort adapters that convert the output to VGA and DVI. Both items cost $29 direct from the hardware maker.



In March, AppleInsider exclusively reported that Apple has created in its internal labs a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI connector. The alleged hardware was 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.



Update: ArsTechnica confirmed that the new Mini DisplayPort supports both audio and video output on the new MacBook Pros. However, Apple also reportedly said it has no plans to release its own HDMI adapter.



The Mini DisplayPort became a part of Apple's LED Cinema Display, MacBook and MacBook Pro lines in late 2008. It replaces DVI video with a much smaller port. The new 27-inch iMac, introduced last October, only supports DisplayPort input. Unlike the Mini-DVI and Micro-DVI connectors common on previous generation Apple products, the port is capable of driving resolutions up to 2560x1600, which is commonly used on 30-inch displays.







Though the Mini DisplayPort technology was originally created by Apple, in 2009 the Cupertino, Calif., company agreed to license the interface to the Video Electronics Standard Association for its own DisplayPort standard. Prior to the agreement, Apple had to license its technology itself and made the standard free, as an incentive for rapid adoption.



Last November, the Mini DisplayPort standard created by Apple was officially adopted by VESA, which is also finalizing the DisplayPort 1.2 standard, which will double the technology's bandwidth capabilities to 21.6GB/s.



Last week, a new patent application suggested Apple is creating a new proprietary cable that could simultaneously transmit both USB 3.0 and DisplayPort data through one cable. The described technology would offer more functionality and greater data transfer rates via smller cable connector form factor.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    josh.b.josh.b. Posts: 353member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The specification sheet for Apple's new line of MacBook Pro notebooks states that HDMI output is possible using an optional Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, hinting that Apple could release a first-party solution.



    The bullet point is included under the "Pure digital video output" section of the technical specifications for Apple's new MacBook Pro machines. It advertises the functionality as: "HDMI output using Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter (optional)."






    Welcome to the 21st century!
  • Reply 2 of 43
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,716member
    Pertinent questions:
    • Will the new MBPs output audio through the mini-DisplayPort connector?

    • If not, will the Apple connector only handle video or will it get audio via the 3.5mm connector (or USB)?

    • How will the Apple solution compare to the one from Monoprice.com?

  • Reply 3 of 43
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    We'll see.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


    Pertinent questions:
    • Will the new MBPs output audio through the mini-DisplayPort connector?

    • If not, will the Apple connector only handle video or will it get audio via the 3.5mm connector (or USB)?

    • How will the Apple solution compare to the one from Monoprice.com?




    If it they just HDMI I would assume they meant A/V, but they list it under the video out section and not under audio out.



    If they are going to merge separate A and V with their adapter I hope they use USB and allow fore better than 2-channel audio, which the 3.5mm connector and Monoprice's USB/mDP-to-HDMI(f) solution handles.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    First Party this Third Party that...



    Isn't ANYONE concerned with the whereabouts of the Second Party?!? We haven't heard a word from them since... FOREVER!!!!
  • Reply 6 of 43
    kerrynkerryn Posts: 87member
    I bet it is video only and that audio will still be via an optical cable. Apple is kind of retarded that way...
  • Reply 7 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    First Party this Third Party that...



    Isn't ANYONE concurred with the whereabouts of the Second Party?!? We haven't heard a word from them since... FOREVER!!!!



    What devices do YOU provide personally? (I'm loosely following literary forms in terms of 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person voices)
  • Reply 8 of 43
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,716member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    First Party this Third Party that...



    Isn't ANYONE concurred with the whereabouts of the Second Party?!? We haven't heard a word from them since... FOREVER!!!!



    That's what YOU say...







    Edit: Beat to the punchline by camroidv27!
  • Reply 9 of 43
    mdcatmdcat Posts: 79member
    and use my HDTV as a 46" monitor for my Mac Mini
  • Reply 10 of 43
    halhikerhalhiker Posts: 110member
    could this mean that new displays are not far behind?
  • Reply 11 of 43
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Nope, just that Apple was behind on first party Mini-DP adaptors.
  • Reply 12 of 43
    The adapter is the first step. Hopefully BD will be the second.
  • Reply 13 of 43
    allblueallblue Posts: 393member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    First Party this Third Party that...



    Isn't ANYONE concerned with the whereabouts of the Second Party?!? We haven't heard a word from them since... FOREVER!!!!



    That's because everyone goes home from the first party to have a wash and change their clothes. By the time they get back, the second party has already finished and the third party is underway. It's obvious when you think about it.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    matt_smatt_s Posts: 299member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kerryn View Post


    I bet it is video only and that audio will still be via an optical cable. Apple is kind of retarded that way...



    Super duper, yet another proprietary cable. Apple Display Connector - remember that success story?



    Who in their right mind would want to just use plain old HDMI? Naw, that would be too industry standard, how would extra revenue get extracted from our pockets doing that????



    Thanks a lot, Steve-o.
  • Reply 15 of 43
    caljomaccaljomac Posts: 122member
    To be honest........it'll be good however it needs to have input for imac
  • Reply 16 of 43
    Monoprice. There is nowhere else.



    Is there any way in the world Apple's "first-party solution" will be as cheap as these?



    8.55 for an adapter and you can use any HDMI cable (also dirt cheap on monoprice).

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2



    or



    10.37 for a 6 ft miniDP to HDMI male cable.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
  • Reply 17 of 43
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    This article from Ars says that audio is IN FACT enabled over mDP for new MBPs.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    r00fusr00fus Posts: 245member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    This article from Ars says that audio is IN FACT enabled over mDP for new MBPs.



    Thanks solipsism! That's great news, and makes me reallly itching to get a new MBP (have 2008 AL-book that's handling fine, but showing a bit of wear and tear).
  • Reply 19 of 43
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by r00fus View Post


    Thanks solipsism! That's great news, and makes me reallly itching to get a new MBP (have 2008 AL-book that's handling fine, but showing a bit of wear and tear).



    It does make it more appealing. I doubt it, but I wonder if a driver update can enable it for previous Macs with mDP.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    I assume that this works with existing adapters then?
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