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Thunderbolt port and mini displayport adapter

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Peter Harrison, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Peter Harrison

    Hey, quick question.

    I had a 2011 Macbook Air, back before Thunderbolt was introduced. I sometimes wanted to hook the laptop up to a very large TV for movies and sports so I got the mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. It worked fine, though not for audio. That sucked. Anyway...

    I've now ordered a 2012 Macbook Air, which does have Thunderbolt instead. I've heard that the port is essentially the same as mini-DisplayPort, except obviously using the new standard that is much quicker.

    I'm considering getting a monitor at some point to use as an external display. It will be a sensible size for computing, not my TV, but I imagine most monitors these days do use HDMI anyway. My question: I kept my miniDP to HDMI adapter, will it still work on the 2012 MBA, plugging into the Thunderbolt port? The alternative obviously being that I need to buy some identical-looking Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter.
  2. macrumors 6502


    Back in the day before the standard changed I got myself an iwires (from the apple store) mini DP to HDMI cable not adaptor this also does audio and I use it on my 21.5 inch monitor and my 37inch tv and I have never had and trobble with it. Also make sure under the sound pane in system preferences that the tv is set as the speaker output.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Peter Harrison

    Thanks, that sounds excellent. Obviously a simple cable would be preferred to a cable and adapter, which looks a lot uglier.

    But in the last few minutes I've also discovered something else. Apple isn't selling Thunderbolt to HDMI at all, it's still Mini-DP to HDMI, so my adapter should be absolutely fine. Thunderbolt is fully backwards compatible.

    But my adapter never worked with audio through HDMI. I notice the product Apple now stocks is called the Moshi Mini-DP to HDMI adapter "with audio". Did they remove the old adapter at some point and replace it with one that does work with audio? :/
  4. macrumors 6502a

    There is no Apple branded mDP-HDMI adapter. All adapters in the Apple Store are from 3rd party suppliers. The good news, all will pass audio, and all will work in either an mDP or Thunderbolt connector.

    If you are purchasing from a store other than Apple or an Apple reseller, you will need to check carefully as to whether it supports audio pass-thru. A popular one is available from monoprice (I have several that work well).

    While it is possible to make an mDP to HDMI cable as one assembly, this is not approved by the HDMI licensing authority. Some may still be available in the market, but you may not be able to find one that supports audio pass-thru.

    So, the best solution is the adapter + HDMI cable.
  5. macrumors 68030

    3rd party manufacturers just ignored that edict and they are easily available.

    Here, here and here and all promising audio support.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Peter Harrison

    Now, maybe. My adapter that didn't pass audio came from the Apple store. Now the exact one isn't there anymore and they have another which says "with audio" in the store's title of the product, so I'm guessing they got complaints and chose a different 3rd party this time and replaced the adapter. Anyway, I have HDMI cables all over the place, so I'll get one of those adapters. Thanks. :)

    Anyone want a non-audio adapter? ;)

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