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MacBytes
Oct 21, 2008, 10:56 AM
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Category: Apple Hardware
Link: Mini Displayport: The Missing Adaptor (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20081021115611)
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iphonematt
Oct 21, 2008, 11:21 AM
Another missing adapter I see is the mini-displayport to s-video to composite video adapter. I use it all the time on my MacBook Pro and hope they come out with one for the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

drlunanerd
Oct 21, 2008, 11:42 AM
Another missing adapter I see is the mini-displayport to s-video to composite video adapter. I use it all the time on my MacBook Pro and hope they come out with one for the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

+1

I ain't buying a new MacBook Pro until this appears (amongst other things I don't like about them).

kingtj
Oct 21, 2008, 12:02 PM
What are you people doing with the composite or s-video ports anyway?

Honestly, I've never had a situation where I wanted to output to one of those formats from my notebook. Composite looks awful, for one thing. S-Video is a lot better, but still - every LCD or DLP projector I've run across has a regular VGA 15-pin connector on it I could use instead.

Even when I used to hook my notebook up to my big-screen TV set, it had a DVI connection on the back of it (originally intended for attaching a HDTV tuner box to it, I believe - but worked great with the computer too).

I could see using this if your computer was a dedicated media center or something, and your TV didn't have another usable input. But this would be something you'd do with a Mac Mini or something, right? Not a new notebook computer.....


Another missing adapter I see is the mini-displayport to s-video to composite video adapter. I use it all the time on my MacBook Pro and hope they come out with one for the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

Saladinos
Oct 21, 2008, 12:27 PM
What are you people doing with the composite or s-video ports anyway?

Honestly, I've never had a situation where I wanted to output to one of those formats from my notebook. Composite looks awful, for one thing. S-Video is a lot better, but still - every LCD or DLP projector I've run across has a regular VGA 15-pin connector on it I could use instead.

Even when I used to hook my notebook up to my big-screen TV set, it had a DVI connection on the back of it (originally intended for attaching a HDTV tuner box to it, I believe - but worked great with the computer too).

I could see using this if your computer was a dedicated media center or something, and your TV didn't have another usable input. But this would be something you'd do with a Mac Mini or something, right? Not a new notebook computer.....

Yea, it's bad, but sometimes, that's all you've got to work with. Got a movie on your laptop, want to play it on a friend's TV, and it's a SDTV set. You've got to use composite.

shortyjj
Oct 21, 2008, 12:32 PM
I'm still waiting for the all-important miniDP-HDMI cable. C'mon Apple: after dropping $1300 on a new computer, do I need to then beg for the other tools to make it fully usable? You've already taken away the Firewire...

Max E Verde
Oct 21, 2008, 12:33 PM
Yea, it's bad, but sometimes, that's all you've got to work with. Got a movie on your laptop, want to play it on a friend's TV, and it's a SDTV set. You've got to use composite.

Same here. Though I'm wondering if the mini displayport > DVI and then DVI > composite will work. If it does it will still be too many adapters but would be a decent workaround until they come out with a mini displayport > composite.
I already own the DVI to composite so for someone who doesn't own it this would add more cost.

They also forgot about mini display port > HDMI (I know it works through DVI but having 1 cable would be better) and possible component video

hippeman
Oct 21, 2008, 12:34 PM
I'd say that the adapter we're really hoping for is the DVI > mini DisplayPort one. I'd love to hook up a new LED Cinema Display to my MacPro! :cool:

dr_lha
Oct 21, 2008, 12:38 PM
I could see using this if your computer was a dedicated media center or something, and your TV didn't have another usable input. But this would be something you'd do with a Mac Mini or something, right? Not a new notebook computer.....
I plug my laptop into my TV to watch shows all the time. I don't want to waste money on buying a Mac mini for just that purpose. I used to use an S-Video mini-DVI adapter to do this for years, however I'll admit that as I've got a new TV which has VGA/HDMI input I don't need to use that any more.
I'd say that the adapter we're really hoping for is the DVI > mini DisplayPort one. I'd love to hook up a new LED Cinema Display to my MacPro! :cool:
Its either not going to happen or be very expensive. You can't convert DVI to DisplayPort without some expensive electronics.

flipperanubi
Oct 21, 2008, 12:54 PM
a

mackensteff
Oct 21, 2008, 01:02 PM
How about MDP to ADC (Apple display connector) there are still a lot of the easel type displays around.

shokunin
Oct 21, 2008, 01:28 PM
Why would you want mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort?

That's Apple Proprietary to Apple Proprietary...

Any decent monitor comes with DVI, vs some crap proprietary port. And Apple does sell you, for a price, their Proprietary to Standard adapter.

I'll live with a proprietary port on a laptop, cause you can always argue "space". However, my external, desktop sized equipment will come with the standards, TYVM.

Um.. Displayport is NOT an Apple technology, it is a video interface standard (VESA) much like DVI / HDMI. Even the Dell 30" LCD comes with a Displayport connector. While it is not a common interface, it is not proprietary to Apple.

Yvan256
Oct 21, 2008, 01:30 PM
Why would you want mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort?

That's Apple Proprietary to Apple Proprietary...

DisplayPort is a new VESA standard (probably to get around all the problems of HDMI, IMHO) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisplayPort

nagromme
Oct 21, 2008, 01:39 PM
I use composite video too. I hope DisplayPort adapters for that appear. (Not that I need a new laptop.)

I strongly support NOT having adapters in the box, though. Many people use zero of them. A few people use one. Now, with DisplayPort, the need for them will go way up--but most people still won't use more than one. Having several in the box, as Apple has done in past, is MASSIVE waste. We're talking MILLIONS of little devices being created and never used. Just buy the one(s) you need.

I do think, to ease the DisplayPort transition, that the adapters should be priced low.

But if a set of adapters adds $30 or $60 to the cost of your laptop, then just factor that in. Is the machine worth it at the higher price? I'd say these new laptops are pretty good deals with or without that added cost.

(As for 30" Cinema Displays--which need an EXPENSIVE dual-link adapter--just wait for the DisplayPort display to come along. Or just connect via single-link DVI in a pinch. If I'm not mistaken, that cheap adapter will still get you a slightly-burry but full-screen 1920x1200 on a 30" screen. Fine for presentations and movies, anyway.)

That's Apple Proprietary to Apple Proprietary...

The big version is a standard as explained above, and display makers have used it even before Apple did. The mini-version is Apple's invention (and a necessary one for the sake of the Air) but I believe others are free to use it too now. And what's cool is that DisplayPort is so new, the mini version could ultimately take off as the more common connection even from PC makers. I hope so. Small is better! PC laptop makers can appreciate that as much as anyone. And their displays can include an adapter for the large size if they wish.

ntrigue
Oct 21, 2008, 02:30 PM
I support Apple's bold move toward DisplayPort. However, I feel like the only reason they chose Mini-DisplayPort is to satisfy the MBA's needs.

The DisplayPort allows for a firmer connection where HDMI and DVI feel like I'm breaking something every time I plug and unplug. I can also appreciate their move towards supporting an open format.

But there is NO excuse for releasing a proprietary connection WITHOUT supporting the logical adapters; HDMI, S-Video and ACD!

nagromme
Oct 21, 2008, 03:06 PM
But there is NO excuse for releasing a proprietary connection WITHOUT supporting the logical adapters; HDMI, S-Video and ACD!

Adapt to DVI or VGA and you can go from there. (HDMI's internal audio won't be supported--which is nothing to do with Apple--so a separate audio line will still be needed. DisplayPort does support HDCP.) I've read that DisplayPort--no matter what the size (nothing to do with Apple)--lacks S-Video and composite support, but I await further confirmation.

But I suspect S-Video and ADC users are increasingly scarce among buyers of brand-new computers. (And full-size DisplayPort to ADC wouldn't be any easier anyway.)

Apple took the best, newest display connector standard, and improved it by making it smaller (which others are free to use now--just as Sony adopted Apple's mini-VGA in the past).

That may be a painful transition that we have to somehow survive (possibly to the tune of $29) but I'm glad Apple is here to drive such improvements into the market. Nobody else can or will do so nearly as effectively.

cal6n
Oct 21, 2008, 03:12 PM
S-Video and/or composite are a real deal-breaker for any VJ.

The industry-standard V4 mixer requires them.

And apparently, you can't connect the old DVI to Video adapter to the new Mini DisplayPort adapter as one is DVI-I and the other is DVI-D.

The most powerful, capable machine in the world is just so much scrap metal if you can't get the signal to where it's needed.

nagromme
Oct 21, 2008, 03:23 PM
S-Video and/or composite are a real deal-breaker for any VJ.

The industry-standard V4 mixer requires them.

And apparently, you can't connect the old DVI to Video adapter to the new Mini DisplayPort adapter as one is DVI-I and the other is DVI-D.

The most powerful, capable machine in the world is just so much scrap metal if you can't get the signal to where it's needed.

This new improved connector may prove to be a difficult transition for VJs, who will have to get some kind of ExpressCard, or migrate to a different mixer that can handle better quality, or most likely just keep using their mid-2008 MacBook Pros--which are perfectly good machines, easily able to push graphics at the low resolutions of composite and S-video for years to come.

But as difficult as that may be, I certainly wouldn't have wanted Apple to stick with older, worse technologies just for the sake of the certain niches like VJs who are using low-quality video.

And even if Apple did decide to skip the DisplayPort transition, eventually a change would still come along, and VJs would end up in the same bind of having to use new video standards. It was only ever a matter of time. Unless, of course, they stick to the old hardware that works fine for them. They're free to do that, and escape the dilemma completely.

And if DisplayPort is digital-only (allowing DVI-D but not analog), which I think you're correct about, that's not Apple's choice. The port size isn't relevant there. Apple's choice was to use this new and better standard or stick with the old--and both have their merits, but I think they made a good call.

cal6n
Oct 21, 2008, 04:13 PM
DisplayPort does allow for analog signal conversion.

This:

00005h DOWNSTREAMPORT_PRESENT
Bit 0 = DWN_STRM_PORT_PRESENT
Set to 1 when this device has downstream port(s)
This bit must be set to 1 only in a Branch Device.
Bits 2:1 = DWN_STRM_PORT_TYPE
Indicates the downstream port type of Downstream Port 0
00 = DisplayPort
01 = Analog VGA or analog video over DVI-I
10 = DVI or HDMI
11 = Others (This downstream port type will have no EDID in the Sink
Device: For example, composite video and Svideo ports)
A Branch Device must provide more detailed downstream enumeration data on
all of its downstream ports including Downstream Port 0 at address 00080h and
above.
For DPCD Ver.1.0
Bits7:3 = RESERVED. Read all 0ís.
For DPCD Ver.1.1
Bit3 = FORMAT_CONVERSION
0 = This Branch Device does not have a format conversion block
1 = This downstream port has a format conversion block
Note: Applicable to a Branch Device only.
Bits 7:4 = RESERVED. Read all 0ís.
Read Only

is from the address mapping from version 1.1a of the VESA DisplayPort standard (p.122). Sorry about the formatting! If Apple were using DisplayPort, there would be no problem as some enterprising company would soon be producing an adapter. The problem is that Apple aren't using DisplayPort. They're using Mini DisplayPort, their own version of the standard and it's doubtful whether anyone else will follow them.

Your point about buying new mixers has a couple of problems too.

1. We're VJs, not DJs! The pay's lousy. Most of us, even the so-called "big names" don't have a pot to piss in, as the saying goes.

2. Even the gorgeous new, state of the art, $5,000 Pioneers are still running S-Video and composite, so the hardware doesn't exist yet.

It's incredibly frustrating knowing that there is this machine that is massively more capable than what we have at the moment, but there's no easy way to utilise it.

A lot of VJs jumped ship from Win to Mac in order to use Modul8. I suspect a lot more will be jumping back over this. Resolume isn't as good as Modul8, but it's better than not being able to play at all.

As for me, I won't be going to Windows. I'll probably start scouring Flea-bay for a "cheap" scan-converter. I might get lucky.

nagromme
Oct 21, 2008, 08:55 PM
The problem is that Apple aren't using DisplayPort. They're using Mini DisplayPort, their own version of the standard and it's doubtful whether anyone else will follow them.

I think that's the big question. But Sony followed Apple's lead with mini-VGA, and there's a LOT more incentive for companies to adopt mini-DisplayPort this time around than there ever was with mini-VGA. DisplayPort, unlike VGA at the time, has very little market penetration. It's new enough that mini can certainly catch on--and with laptops getting smaller and more popular by the day, mini's advantages are clear.

Also, I believe the number of computers in use with mini DisplayPort VASTLY outnumbers the number of computers with full-size Display Port. (That is to say, Apple's laptop business is growing way beyond the rest of the market and is all DisplayPort. Whereas to my knowledge, no computers have adopted full-size DisplayPort. (Some displays and GPU cards have, but that doesn't represent much traction.)

So moving forward, would companies be smarter to go with mini-DisplayPort or full-size? (An adapter can provide both anyway.) I think mini has a good chance to catch on, and I hope it does.

Good to know that DP supports analog--thanks for the details. I'll hold out some hope for composite adapters (I use that for slideshows etc. on older TVs) but have heard it cannot be done. If it can be done, VJs may be in luck!

minijon
Oct 21, 2008, 10:27 PM
I support Apple's bold move toward DisplayPort. However, I feel like the only reason they chose Mini-DisplayPort is to satisfy the MBA's needs.


It's not just the Air. On the Logicboards, the ports take up the entire left side. There's no access to the logic board from the right (due to the Optical Drive) and the easy access HDD and Battery take up the front. Unless Apple gives up the style of hinge it seems to like, there isn't room for more ports on any of the notebooks. There's no wasted space on any of them.

Muncher
Oct 22, 2008, 09:12 PM
The problem is that Apple aren't using DisplayPort. They're using Mini DisplayPort, their own version of the standard and it's doubtful whether anyone else will follow them.

I don't see what the shock is about. They've always done this. Not providing adapters was a mistake definitely, but previous computers had mini this-and-that for a while.

No, other companies usually don't use apple's "mini" port. Which is why adapters are key. I don't see why they haven't provided them before.

tuc
Oct 23, 2008, 01:25 AM
Apple took the best, newest display connector standard, and improved it by making it smaller (which others are free to use now--just as Sony adopted Apple's mini-VGA in the past).

With luck DisplayPort-to-MiniDisplayPort and MiniDisplayPort-to-DisplayPort
adapters will be ubiquitous and inexpensize. We'll see if that happens. It
certainly didn't happen with mini-DVI (http://bitguru.wordpress.com/2008/01/15/mini-dvi-to-dvi-adapters-and-anagolg-signals/) or micro-DVI (http://bitguru.wordpress.com/2008/01/15/apples-macbook-air-intoduces-micro-dvi/). (Mini-DVI does have
one non-Apple source (http://www.dynexproducts.com/searchadv.aspx?SearchTerm=mini+dvi), which is better than nothing.)

Btw, are you sure that Sony actually adopted Apple's mini-VGA? I know
that Wikipedia says so, but I have yet to see any hard evidence. It may be
like Fujitsu, which uses the term "mivi VGA" (http://store.shopfujitsu.com/fpc/Ecommerce/SelectAccessoryDetail.jsp?partNumber=FPCCBL01) but it's not the same connector.

Tobler51
Oct 24, 2008, 02:51 AM
We need soon a MINI DP -> HDMI & MINI DP -> DP.....and everything is alrite!

takao
Oct 24, 2008, 04:20 AM
I think that's the big question. But Sony followed Apple's lead with mini-VGA, and there's a LOT more incentive for companies to adopt mini-DisplayPort this time around than there ever was with mini-VGA. DisplayPort, unlike VGA at the time, has very little market penetration. It's new enough that mini can certainly catch on--and with laptops getting smaller and more popular by the day, mini's advantages are clear.

Also, I believe the number of computers in use with mini DisplayPort VASTLY outnumbers the number of computers with full-size Display Port. (That is to say, Apple's laptop business is growing way beyond the rest of the market and is all DisplayPort. Whereas to my knowledge, no computers have adopted full-size DisplayPort. (Some displays and GPU cards have, but that doesn't represent much traction.)

So moving forward, would companies be smarter to go with mini-DisplayPort or full-size? (An adapter can provide both anyway.) I think mini has a good chance to catch on, and I hope it does.

the question here is royalities .. hdmi costs 4 cent per device, original displayport nothing ... the question will be if apple charges other companies money to use the mini displayport

also the displayport has been developed to be a more sturdy connection than hdmi ... is the apple mini connector equally as good ? nobody knows yet

don't forget that displayport is already quite small to begin with (as is hdmi) the size advantage is minimal compared to the bigger dvi connector

personally i hope that apple change their minds about hdmi and thos mini adopters and go with a dual output of hdmi + displayport ... after all the first is already the standard for entertainment systems and the second will become standard for computer monitors

sangosimo
Oct 24, 2008, 07:57 AM
I don't understand why they don't just make a dongle that goes from mini display port => everything.

METOO999
Oct 24, 2008, 11:14 AM
No sale! I'll be sticking with my black Macbook for a long time to watch video on my HDMI LCD TV. I'm tired of buying new adapters.

steviem
Oct 24, 2008, 11:47 AM
No sale! I'll be sticking with my black Macbook for a long time to watch video on my HDMI LCD TV. I'm tired of buying new adapters.

So you are seriously saying that for the sake of a £15 adapter, you won't buy the new MacBook?

Its good to see an open standard against HDMI, and it has auxiliary lanes which will help for apple's keyboard/trackpad replacement (which will come one day).

I really like DisplayPort. I hope apple adds mini DisplayPort to its standard and doesn't charge royalties.

bluesTank
Oct 24, 2008, 01:52 PM
What kind of benefits arise from the mini displayport? From what I read, it sounds like it is just a reason to have to buy a converter dongle. I never connect to an external computer monitor display, but I do sometimes like to connect up to my HD TV (with my old laptop). What benefits can I expect if any from this thing?

Eidorian
Oct 24, 2008, 01:56 PM
If Apple provided the full size DisplayPort there would be a little less adapter nonsense. Keep in mind the previous MacBook Pro did have a full sized dual link DVI port.

Mini-DisplayPort is Apple's proprietary implementation of the full sized license-free, royalty-free, digital audio/video interconnect DisplayPort.

The nice thing right now is that you do get 2560 x 1600 support but it does required that expensive dual link adapter. Apple doesn't support audio, yet.

mkrishnan
Oct 24, 2008, 01:58 PM
It helps to allow your Macbook to be as thin as it is. ;)

Other than that... the standard calls for transmitting digital audio over the cable also, so if Apple releases a Mini Displayport to HDMI adapter, the single cable would send both digital audio and video to your television, for instance, which would be a major advantage (to me, at least) over DVI. Although, arguably, they could just have used HDMI, which is also pretty physically small, although then the issue is that I don't think the HDMI cable standard can accommodate a VGA output....

METOO999
Oct 24, 2008, 02:01 PM
So you are seriously saying that for the sake of a £15 adapter, you won't buy the new MacBook?

Its good to see an open standard against HDMI, and it has auxiliary lanes which will help for apple's keyboard/trackpad replacement (which will come one day).

I really like DisplayPort. I hope apple adds mini DisplayPort to its standard and doesn't charge royalties.

I like the form factor, but it's not enough of a power jump to justify the price for my uses.

cal6n
Oct 24, 2008, 02:12 PM
What kind of benefits arise from the mini displayport?

*snip*

Benefits over the standard DisplayPort? None, apart from a slightly (and I do mean slightly) smaller connector.

Drawbacks, apart from the "lock-in" to the Apple format, the Mini DisplayPort lacks the physical latching capability of its big brother.

Very poor, Mr. Ives. Very poor.

danny_w
Oct 24, 2008, 02:19 PM
Benefits over the standard DisplayPort? None, apart from a slightly (and I do mean slightly) smaller connector.

Drawbacks, apart from the "lock-in" to the Apple format, the Mini DisplayPort lacks the physical latching capability of its big brother.

Very poor, Mr. Ives. Very poor.
It doesn't have the latch? Then why even have it? That virtually assures that nobody else will standardize on it, even if it is free.

shamino
Oct 27, 2008, 03:18 PM
Another missing adapter I see is the mini-displayport to s-video to composite video adapter. I use it all the time on my MacBook Pro and hope they come out with one for the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros.
The real question here is whether the new MacBooks have the circuitry to drive these legacy signals.

It is my understanding that DisplayPort is only required to support DVI and HDMI. All other legacy formats are optional and depend on support from the computer's chipset. We know Apple chose a chipset with VGA support, because they are selling (or will soon be selling) an adapter.

We have no clue about whether the current chipset will put out composite, S-video or component video. My guess is that it doesn't, otherwise Apple would've mentioned it on the MacBook's spec sheet (http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs.html).

What are you people doing with the composite or s-video ports anyway?
In my case, it's so I can show photos at my parents' house. Their TV isn't HD capable. It has RF, composite and S-video for inputs. When I visit them and want to show photos from my iBook, I use the S-video display adapter.

Without such an adapter, we'd all have to crowd around a small screen to see the pictures.
Same here. Though I'm wondering if the mini displayport > DVI and then DVI > composite will work.
Won't work. The DisplayPort->DVI adapter is for DVI-D. That is, the analog-signal pins (the cluster of 4 pins with the plus-shaped pin in between them) is not present on that adapter. So no analog output (VGA, composite, or anything else) is going to be delivered through that adapter.

xochipelli
Jan 8, 2009, 05:50 PM
I just bought today from Amazon an Apple LED Cinema Display and I sadly realized that it was impossible to connect it to my MacBook Pro bought one year and half ago.

I think it is not fair that Apple is no more precise as to the fact that this display may only be connected to "new" MacBook Pro. It is a funny way to run a business. What is new? Please, tell me. After working 20 years with Apple, I feel sickened by such business practices. Please, why no adaptator is available? It is borderline to be a reap-off!!

danny_w
Jan 8, 2009, 07:15 PM
I just bought today from Amazon an Apple LED Cinema Display and I sadly realized that it was impossible to connect it to my MacBook Pro bought one year and half ago.

I think it is not fair that Apple is no more precise as to the fact that this display may only be connected to "new" MacBook Pro. It is a funny way to run a business. What is new? Please, tell me. After working 20 years with Apple, I feel sickened by such business practices. Please, why no adaptator is available? It is borderline to be a reap-off!!
While I agree that the fact that the new 24" is for the new Macbook family only, I also think that the following on the Apple website is pretty clear:

Made for the new MacBook family.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB382LL/A?fnode=MTY1NDA5OQ&mco=Mjc5MTYwMQ

AndrewLang
Jul 24, 2009, 06:11 PM
I just bought today from Amazon an Apple LED Cinema Display and I sadly realized that it was impossible to connect it to my MacBook Pro bought one year and half ago.

I think it is not fair that Apple is no more precise as to the fact that this display may only be connected to "new" MacBook Pro. It is a funny way to run a business. What is new? Please, tell me. After working 20 years with Apple, I feel sickened by such business practices. Please, why no adaptator is available? It is borderline to be a reap-off!!

Hi,

Just wanted to offer a beacon of hope. We are currently designing this adapter and are keeping the public up to date on when it will be available for pre-order on our blog here: http://estore.circuitassembly.com/blog/are-you-making-a-mini-displayport-female-to-dvi-male-adapter-cable/ our main website estore.circuitassembly.com also has the most comprehensive line of mini displayport related adapters available online.

Hope this helps someone,

Andrew Lang