HDMI connection for pre-thunderbolt Macs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by serr, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. serr macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    I have a gen 5,1 MBP with the mini-display port and no thunderbolt. I discovered that you cannot use the mini-display to HDMI adapter. You will get video but absolutely no audio. If you plug into the HDMI input of a surround receiver you will NOT see the device show up under Audio/MIDI Setup. OK, no surprise since this is in fact just a DVI port.

    Is there a firewire to HDMI adapter solution for this?

    My express34 slot is currently being used for a Wintec SSD (OS/apps) so that obvious option is not desired. And yes I use my internal data drive and my optical drive regularily.

    So... firewire > HDMI?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Only 2010 Macs and later support audio out via MDP to HDMI.
    For earlier Macs are adapters like the ones shown below, that combine the audio out port signal with the MDP signal and present you with an HDMI signal.

  3. serr thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    Strike out on those adapters. When you read the fine print, the Mac one states only the 2010 and newer machines and the Monoprice one is simple stereo or lossy surround only. No go with any of these I'm afraid.
  4. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    How about this one that uses Toslink instead of USB audio?


  5. serr thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    Toslink is a 2 channel only optical connection. The only surround over this is losst dts or dolby (which are encoded into 2 channels). HDMI really is the only option for consumer surround receivers for full audio.

    I might be out of luck if no one makes firewire to HDMI for audio.

    The thing is the newer 15" machines are missing the express slot now and I don't want a 17". First world problems...
  6. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    I don't think you're going to find a Firewire to HDMI cable that carries both audio and video.

    I guess it depends on what sort of inputs your receiver has. You might be able to get a USB or Firewire sound card that can do surround sound output separately from the HDMI video connection.

    As for expresscard, you can get Thunderbolt to Expresscard adapters that work with the newer machines:


    I believe that I also saw one that works via USB 3 somewhere but I can't find it at the moment.

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