Air to non-Thunderbolt display: Audio, camera?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sferrari, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #2
    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.
     
  3. Kendo, Dec 11, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011

    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #3
    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.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #6
    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

    [​IMG]
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #7
    Great pig "theseb"

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

    pic.jpg

    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"
     
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    #8
    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?
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #10
    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)
     
  11. macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #11
    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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]
     
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #13
    How will you connect those cables on a 17" MBP? o_O
    Seriously, they don't seem long enough...
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    #14
    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...
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #15


    I was just reffering to this:

    Coz this seems a bit confusing to me.
     
  16. macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #16
    My apologies. I was referring specifically to the ACD connecting via its own mini DP cable. I should have been more clearer.
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #17
    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.
     

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