Do Macs have S-Video out?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by applefan289, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. applefan289 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    I think it's called S-Video, it's those old analog cables that are red, white, and yellow. Does any Mac have that output? I'm asking because what if I wanted to hook it up to a CRT (480i)?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    I think you're referring to composite video cables. Current macs do not have these, but in some cases you can buy an adapter cable.
     
  3. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #3
    No current Mac has the ability to output to S-Video. Which Mac do you have?
     
  4. applefan289 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #4
    I'm not planning to do anything, it's more of a theoretical question. I was just wondering if it was possible.
     
  5. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #5
  6. applefan289 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Cool, thanks.

    While we're on the subject of cables, what exactly is the difference between Mini Displayport and HDMI? Why has HDMI become the main standard and no TV utilizes Mini Displayport?
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #7
    In that case, every if not all Macs that has been updated in or after October 2008 does not have the ability to output to S-Video or composite (yellow).
     
  8. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #8
    Display Port is the new standard for Monitors. It actually supports higher resolutions than HDMI (which is pretty much limited to 1920x1080). Apple just created Mini Display port so it would work on a laptop much easier, as the standard Display port is about the size of a DVI port. DP is also nice because, just like every computer video standard, it is backwards compatible. When VGA came out, you could get converters to allow you to connect CGA monitors. When DVI came out, they included an Analog segment so you could convert it to VGA, and Display Port has the ability to output both the DVI digital signal (DVI-D) and the VGA analog signal. HDMI is, on the other hand, a modification of the DVI-D standard, to include audio, DRM, and now Ethernet signals. It is very similar in its goal as SCART was in Europe, however, without the ability to daisy chain, or have signals travel in two directions (save for the ethernet). Now, with Thunderbolt, you can even daisy chain components, and allow them to communicate independently. I'll even bet that someone in the entertainment industry is thinking that Thunderbolt, especially when optical cables are available, that it could replace not only HDMI, Component, Composite, SVideo, but also Coax and Ethernet, allowing 6 devices to operate together, with just one cable between each device, would make setting up a home theatre system almost idiot proof, and it could still contain the DRM that the MPAA insists is needed on video content.

    TEG
     
  9. Makosuke, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011

    Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #9
    Are you sure about that? Somebody previously corrected my misunderstanding of how a DP-VGA adapter worked, which contradicts that.

    DisplayPort has the capability to handle "active" adapters; these adapters draw power from the DisplayPort port itself (or, occasionally, another power source like a USB port; DP can supply about 1.5W of power), and take the digital signal from the DisplayPort output, then convert it internally to a different type of signal, which is then sent to the monitor.

    I was under the impression, and both the Wikipedia page and the official DisplayPort FAQ seem to explicitly confirm, that a standard DisplayPort port is NOT capable of outputting an analog signal. Rather, DisplayPort/MiniDisplayPort to VGA adapters do the digital-analog conversion within the adapter. This is different from DVI-I, which carries both a pure-digital DVI signal (DVI-D), and a separate set of wires for an analog VGA signal (DVI-A), meaning all you need is an adapter that re-routes the wires to get a VGA signal out of most DVI ports.

    DisplayPort ports can, however, rearrange their output signals to mimic a DVI-D or HDMI port, if a passive adapter tells them to do so and directs the signal wires correctly. Active adapters to do both of these things also exist, however (in which case the DisplayPort is outputting DisplayPort video, and the adapter itself is converting it to DVI or HDMI), and if I understand correctly are the only way to get a dual-link signal out of a DisplayPort connection.

    I assume that passive adapters are cheaper than active ones, and while it's theoretically possible that some DisplayPort GPUs are capable of handling a passive VGA adapter by outputting an analog signal directly, I don't believe Apple's MDP ports do so.

    I'd love to know if I'm wrong about this; I do like to keep on top of the real details of how various connection standards work.

    [Addendum: Indeed, I just cracked open my cheap (<$20), off-brand Mini-DisplayPort to VGA adapter, and contained within is an Analogix ANX9832 chip; that chip is expressly designed as a low-power DAC to convert the digital signal output by DisplayPort into an analog VGA signal.]
     

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