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View Full Version : Air to non-Thunderbolt display: Audio, camera?




sferrari
Dec 11, 2011, 07:21 AM
I'm looking at buying a Mac Air, but a 13" display is too limiting when I'm in my home office. Ideally I'd get the 27" TB display, but I have room for only a 24".

If I get a used 24" Cinema display and connect it to the Air's TB port, will I need additional cables (presumably USB) to make use of the display's speakers, camera, and microphone? What about if I use an older display-port iMac instead of the Cinema display? Or is there a better way to get a larger (but not 27") screen with audio/video in/out, without a bunch of cables?

Seems like I've read a million posts trying to understand this. If the answer is already out there, I'd be happy if someone points me at the thread.

Thanks for any help.



theSeb
Dec 11, 2011, 07:39 AM
The display will need to be connected via USB for those functions. It won't happen via black voodoo no matter how much you explore the options.

Kendo
Dec 11, 2011, 07:49 AM
Maybe if the 24" monitor had TB as well but I'm betting it doesn't so it will treat the Air's TB connection as mDP. That means you will probably need a mDP to HDMI or DVI convertor jut to be able to use the monitor. Then you will need a separate cable for the camera.

sferrari
Dec 11, 2011, 07:51 AM
Thanks for the info. I was looking more for an understanding of what goes over the mini-DP cable than help from black voodoo. Seems I've read that at least audio out does so, so I'll assume that your reply refers to only audio/video in.

wrinkster22
Dec 11, 2011, 07:56 AM
Thanks for the info. I was looking more for an understanding of what goes over the mini-DP cable than help from black voodoo. Seems I've read that at least audio out does so, so I'll assume that your reply refers to only audio/video in.

Video Mini Display Port > Macbook air's thunderbolt
Charging Magsafe Cable > Macbook air's magsafe connection
Audio/USB/Webcam USB cable > Macbook air's USB Port

Hope I helped you get a better understanding about all the cables jobs.

theSeb
Dec 11, 2011, 07:59 AM
Thanks for the info. I was looking more for an understanding of what goes over the mini-DP cable than help from black voodoo. Seems I've read that at least audio out does so, so I'll assume that your reply refers to only audio/video in.

miniDP only sends a display signal so no audio or anything else.

Here is my 2011 MBA connected to a 24" ACD - power + miniDP + USB

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/photo-7.jpg

wrinkster22
Dec 11, 2011, 08:08 AM
Great pig "theseb"

OP here is another picture from an earlier thread with a 11"Macbook air and attached to a cinema display

315699

I labeled all of the connections the best I could.
EDIT: Click to enlarge so you can see it better.
Oh, original photo by "thewalkman"

sferrari
Dec 11, 2011, 08:25 AM
Thanks for pictures. I suppose that even if USB wasn't needed, like with the 27" TB display, the fact that the TB and magsafe connectors are on opposite sides of the case prevents a cleaner solution, like the Henge vertical dock. But that cable you guys are using seems like it might help a little. Is that from anywhere special?

komoornik
Dec 11, 2011, 08:39 AM
Maybe the ACD is outputting sound via USB ( that would man there is an USB audio card ), but please don't say Thunderbolt/mini DP doesn't output sound, coz it is.

I'm using my TV sometimes with the mini DP to HDMI adapter, and obviously I'm getting sound too.

wrinkster22
Dec 11, 2011, 08:45 AM
Thanks for pictures. I suppose that even if USB wasn't needed, like with the 27" TB display, the fact that the TB and magsafe connectors are on opposite sides of the case prevents a cleaner solution, like the Henge vertical dock. But that cable you guys are using seems like it might help a little. Is that from anywhere special?

That cable comes with the cinema display.
There are 2 cables connected to the back of the Cinema display.
One for power
and one that splits into USB, magsafe, and MDP
Hope I helped.

Due to the macbook air's limited areas available they had to unfortunately put the magsafe one onside and the MDP on the other.

Something like this: http://twelvesouth.com/products/BookArc_for_Air/
Will keep it cleaner. (visually)

theSeb
Dec 11, 2011, 08:53 AM
Maybe the ACD is outputting sound via USB ( that would man there is an USB audio card ), but please don't say Thunderbolt/mini DP doesn't output sound, coz it is.

I'm using my TV sometimes with the mini DP to HDMI adapter, and obviously I'm getting sound too.

Your post is confusing to me. We're talking about connecting the MBA to an Apple Cinema Display. The graphics are sent via the mini display. The audio is sent via USB. I am not sure what you mean by "ACD is outputting sound via USB". The ACD outputs sound via speakers. The sound comes in via USB.

Mini DisplayPort can carry audio - that's why you have sound via the mini DP to HDMI adapter. But in the case of the ACD, it accepts audio via USB.

This is when I connect the USB cord from the ACD into the MBA

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/ScreenShot2011-12-11at145051.png

This is when I disconnect the USB cable from keep the ACD connected via mDP

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/ScreenShot2011-12-11at145116.png

sferrari
Dec 11, 2011, 09:06 AM
I think komoornik meant that "maybe the ACD is outputting sound [based on the signals it receives] via USB..." (Clearly in the case of the Air/ACD config, this is true.) And I appreciate his post, since it confirms my previous understanding, that non-Cinema displays can play audio sent over the MDP cable. As I mentioned in the original post, I'm open to suggestions other than Cinema displays.

orfeas0
Dec 11, 2011, 10:37 AM
Great pig "theseb"

OP here is another picture from an earlier thread with a 11"Macbook air and attached to a cinema display

315699

I labeled all of the connections the best I could.
EDIT: Click to enlarge so you can see it better.
Oh, original photo by "thewalkman"

How will you connect those cables on a 17" MBP? o_O
Seriously, they don't seem long enough...

moonernet
Dec 11, 2011, 11:10 AM
How will you connect those cables on a 17" MBP? o_O
Seriously, they don't seem long enough...

I hope you're kidding... If you actually look at your MBP 17, you'll realize that all the connectors are on the same side...

komoornik
Dec 11, 2011, 11:13 AM
Your post is confusing to me. We're talking about connecting the MBA to an Apple Cinema Display. The graphics are sent via the mini display. The audio is sent via USB. I am not sure what you mean by "ACD is outputting sound via USB". The ACD outputs sound via speakers. The sound comes in via USB.




I was just reffering to this:

miniDP only sends a display signal so no audio or anything else.

Coz this seems a bit confusing to me.

theSeb
Dec 11, 2011, 11:18 AM
I was just reffering to this:



Coz this seems a bit confusing to me.

My apologies. I was referring specifically to the ACD connecting via its own mini DP cable. I should have been more clearer.

Jordan9
Dec 11, 2011, 12:01 PM
I occasionally use my 11" Air with my 23" HD Dell monitor. I use the Mini DP to HDMI adaptor and plug the HDMI into the back of my monitor and I have picture and sound with the one cable. I have a set of speakers plugged in to the audio out on the monitor and they work fine.