Mini Displayport + USB audio to HDMI Adapter available

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by BrittQ, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. macrumors regular

    May 23, 2007
  2. macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2008
    If this was a little cheaper and I knew it would work flawlessly I'd say it was a good option.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicago, USA
    Not really sure why it's so important to carry audio via HDMI.. Digital audio out with $5 TOSLINK cable has the same end result..
  4. pj-
    macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2008
    Does the usb allow you to output multichannel LPCM or the HD audio codecs? If not, I don't see see the point of using usb instead of toslink
  5. macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    San Francisco
  6. macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Los Angeles Area
    The main reason I think, some TV's dont have TOSLINK inputs, or they ignore the audio coming in from the RCA inputs (in other words they look for the audio in the HDMI cable).

    If you have a receiver (home theatre - surround sound) of course you don't need this as it most likely has SPDIF.
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 23, 2007
    Anyone know the technical advantages/disadvantages between toslink and this adapter? Aside from the 1 cable instead of 2? Audio formats/quality etc.
  8. macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Los Angeles Area
    Don't there's any advantage. This adapter is mainly aimed at those who don't have a Home Receiver who connect to a TV only.
  9. macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2008
    Reviews of the adapter have confirmed that it is just the toslink audio added to the HDMI video signal. So: no HD audio codecs, no additional audio formats supported and no streams beyond 1.5Mbps. This adapter just gives you the benefit of a single HDMI connection to your display or receiver that carries audio and video instead of the 2 cables currently required to do the same.

    Unfortunate news :( And its pretty pricey considering all it does is put the audio+video onto a single HDMI connection.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2007
    Need some help from audio experts :

    I have a miniDP to HDMI cable connecting my MBP to my HDTV (LG 32LF11).

    What is the best option for audio? Should I buy 'Mini Displayport + USB audio to HDMI Adapter' or will a toslink cable work? I have no idea if my TV has toslink option.

    My TV audio specs :

    Audio System
    Speaker(s) 2 x Right/left channel speaker - Built-in - 10 Watt
    Sound Output Mode Stereo
    Surround Mode Yes
    Sound Effects SRS TruSurround XT
    Audio Controls Bass , Treble , Balance , Sound mode
    Output Power / Total 20 Watt
    Additional Features Balance control , Bass & treble control , Auto volume adjustment , Invisible Speaker System

    Thanks a lot!
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    I think the most practical option for audio to the TV would be to simply use a stereo mini-plug -> 2 RCA cable to connect the analog stereo signal from your mac to the TV.

    My 52" Samsung LCD (LN52A650) doesn't have a toslink input (only an output). All the non-HDMI sound inputs are analog stereo. I'm guessing that's pretty typical, even for high-end TV's. There isn't much need for a multi-channel digital audio input on the TV since it only has a single pair of speakers.

    Once again, I think that fancy adapter simply improves aesthetics by providing a single-wire connection to the TV.
  12. macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
  13. macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2007
    Thanks a lot! I finally ordered it. I don't care about digital audio really given that I will be watching streaming video for the most part. I just saw the dolby logo on my HDTV and thought Toslink would do good but my TV has no toslink input!
  14. macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2008
    according to the specs this cable is supposed to support LPCM and DTS MA/Dolby true HD.

    I find that hard to believe since it gets the audio from the mini-jack which I didn't think supported those audio formats naively. Someone chime in if I am wrong..
  15. macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2008
    That Kanex adapter is interesting if it actually works per the specs. I would guess they are pulling HD audio or LPCM passthrough via USB and adding it to the HDMI output. Their online guide refers to the digital output as JBaughb says but the optical out on Mac's is currently limited to DD 5.1 or DTS 5.1 at up to 1.5mbps in OSX. And, as far as I know there are no HD audio codec drivers for USB audio connections under OSX either - stereo only. Maybe they have written their own digital out driver? or USB audio driver...? Or maybe the HD audio functionality is only supported under Windows?
  16. macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2007
    What excites me about this adapter is how it will allow me to select where my Mac audio is outputted to (the speakers connected to my Mac or the speakers on my HDTV) with just a click of the mouse in the system preferences.

    I'm still using a first-generation 24 inch iMac but I'm planning on getting a new iMac probably soon after they come out, whenever that might be. My iMac and HDTV are in different rooms but they are on each side of the same wall. So what I'm planning on doing is drilling a small hole in that wall and connecting them with this adapter. This way whenever I want to watch some streaming content, surf the web, play some games, or do just about anything on my iMac I would then have the option of doing these things in the comfort of my living room on a screen that's twice the size of my iMac's if I choose. It would also be a better way to show off slideshows, videos, and so forth to visitors and friends. I already have an iPod touch 2G and an Airport express so I could use one of those air mouse apps as a controller. If really necessary I could buy a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

    I realize that a Mac Mini is the most popular way to go for this kind of thing but doing it that way would cost quite a bit more and I really don't feel like having to maintain two computers. More importantly, I don't really know how much I'm going to use this option so therefore I look at this as an inexpensive way to try it out.

    One final note. I'm disabled and would be unable to constantly unplug and plug in audio cables depending on whether I want to use my iMac by itself or go out into the living room and use it on the big screen HDTV. Therefore the advantage of being able to pick where the Mac audio is routed with a click of the mouse becomes obvious for me. Maybe there's another way to do this just as easily without this adapter but I don't know what it is.

    I can't wait until I can do this! :)

  17. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    How much better than VGA?

    I am hooking my 47" 1080p LCD tv to my aluminum MacBook. I have a MDP>VGA adapter that I have used to connect the tv to the MacBook at 1920x1080 resolution. How much difference would there be with this MDP>hdmi adapter over VGA?

    In terms of video I mean. I understand that this would reduce it to one cable rather than 2 when considering audio.
  18. macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2009
    Louisiana, USA
    The signal when coming through HDMI vs VGA is way better. I can easily see it on my 32" 1080p Samsung. It's great. I connect an HDMI and a Dynex Y RCA cable for audio. It's fine enough for me considering that I do not play Blu-ray rips and Mac OS X doesn't support Blu-ray playing.
  19. macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2008
    Using a mDP>HDMI like this would also allow you to maintain the HDCP chain - ah DRM, how we love you <sigh> Given you have an Alum MacBook, you cannot watch HD DRM'd content over VGA currently - it will give you an HDCP error. This will only affect DRM'd content though, so BD rips or anything you converted yourself will work fine, just not legally purchased HD content; ie: iTunes HD TV shows or Movies as an example.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2008
    I apologize for the caps, but I feel it is required...


    I bought this adapter because at the time their product page said it supported uncompressed audio formats. After purchasing the cable, they snuck a little blog post on a subsection of the site stating that it did not. Over the weekend, they quietly changed the page to no longer reflect the uncompressed audio comments. I submitted a complaint to their site that was admittedly not worded very politely (no cursing, just complaining about being "duped" by their poor wording) and requested a swap for the USB+HDMI only model or a refund. They have refused, so I am now going through the process of filing a Better Business Bureau complaint to see if I can recoup my $78 after shipping. I'll be lucky if I see a single penny back and now I have to pay $40 to get a functional product from a reputable business ( is awesome and I should have known better!). Needless to say, avoid at all costs!

    ("THAT COMPANY" being Kanex - I didn't realize that both quotes didn't copy.)
  21. macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2006
    I wish I checked a little better when I ordered my displayport to HDMI cable last week from Monoprice. I would rather have gotten the one that supports audio as well. Currently I use an iMac to record TV shows. I send the video to the TV and audio via TOSLINK to the receiver. I would prefer to remove the received from the equation and just got both video and audio to the TV.
    Oh well, if it get's positive reviews I'll go ahead and order one.
  22. macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    That sucks, they should at least offer you a refund or credit. I think the other Kanex USB+HDMI model is even worse so I don't think you really want that... it's only two channel audio... not even 5.1.

    BTW, this won't make you feel better but it's a long standing fact that Toslink optical doesn't have the bandwidth to support the latest HD uncompressed audio standards so what made you believe they had somehow magically solved this problem?

    I'm definitely curious to hear some reviews of the monoprice adapter... no driver required for multichannel audio output?
  23. macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2007
    I ordered the Mini Display Port + USB Audio + Digital to HDMI, I am waiting for it to be shipped to me in Australia.

    I hope this adapter works as I paid $93AUD for this adapter (shipping both from US and to Australia!!)
  24. macrumors 601


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Well, I can think of two reasons.

    1. Some folks like to keep the number of cables to a minimum.

    2. Not everyone has HDMI ports that accept auxiliary audio inputs.
  25. macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2008
    Sorry to hear that Osip :( So it is as we guessed and they do not actually support HD audio codecs. So, the only real benefit of an adapter like this is to have audio and video on a single HDMI connection - a fair offer except that the price is Very high IMO considering this is the only gain. Ah well, sorry you had to be the lab rat to find this out... but you have saved the rest of us some $ so I thank you.

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