Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter coming soon

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 102
    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?
  • Reply 2 of 102
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 102
    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...
  • Reply 4 of 102
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 102
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 102
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 102
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 102
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 102
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    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.



  • Reply 10 of 102
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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?
  • Reply 11 of 102
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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?
  • Reply 12 of 102
    19841984 Posts: 955member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 102
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 102
    AFAIK, HDMI cannot handle the bandwidth that DisplayPort can.
  • Reply 15 of 102
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 102
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 102
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 102
    Monoprice is great.
  • Reply 19 of 102
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 102
    This is great news. Monoprice makes some very high quality stuff at amazing prices.
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