MiniDisplayPort Adaptor?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Tigercat212, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Tigercat212 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #1
    Is there any adaptor that will enable me to use the new MiniDisplayPort on the new Macbooks with my old Blackbook?
     
  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5G77 Safari/525.20)

    No.

    At present you have two hurdles. One is the complete lack of any mini DisplayPort adapters other than the two by Apple (both for a computer with mDP.). The second is the fact that even with a "monitor end mDP" cable, the only thing it can convert to is full-size DP. (Unless Apple is going against past precedent and hiding a second signal type in that display..). Which means even with said cable, you'd have to have DP on your computer. At present there is no way to add DP to your MacBook.

    edit: Followup now that I'm at home on a real keyboard...

    So to expand: "DisplayPort" is an industry standard from the industry-standards organization VESA. The standard defines both a physical port, as well as a new method of signaling for the display data. Apple's mini DisplayPort is a custom physical plug (that Apple is willing to license free,) that uses this industry-standard signal. The problem is that the signal is new, and not at all backward compatible. The specification for the plug says that manufacturers are allowed to make their own custom physical adapters to drive other devices (such as DVI, VGA, etc,) using the existing physical pins; but that doesn't help us with the signal.

    Apple's 24" LED Cinema Display uses the new DisplayPort signal over Apple's new mini DisplayPort plug. So even with an adapter that can change the mini DisplayPort plug into something else, you still need a computer that can output the DisplayPort signal. The new Apple MacBooks all have this. A few (you can count them on your fingers,) video cards for PCs have DisplayPort. But there are no converters to turn the older DVI signal into a DisplayPort signal. All "DisplayPort to DVI adapters" you see are physical plug adapters for use on video cards that can push a DVI signal through their DisplayPort plug. (Much as how the "DVI-I" standard carries both the digital DVI-D signal as well as an analog VGA signal; allowing you to use a physical adapter to get VGA out of a DVI port.) But for that, you still need to have a device that supports the DVI signal. Again, unless Apple goes against their nature, the new product ONLY supports the DisplayPort signal. (Many monitor manufacturers make LCDs with both DVI and VGA. The moment Apple put DVI on their monitor, VGA was dead. I imagine this is the same. DisplayPort-only, no DVI signal lurking anywhere on the monitor.)

    Apple makes physical adapters to turn mini DisplayPort on the MacBooks into VGA or DVI for monitors; but, again, these just pass through the VGA or DVI signal that Apple has on the pins of the plug in the notebook. One of the reasons for the delay in the Dual-Link DVI adapter is that it physically cannot be a simple 'pin-adapter'. DisplayPort has enough pins for single-link DVI or VGA; but not for Dual-Link DVI. This means that the DL-DVI adapter is doing some kind of signal translation to get a DL-DVI signal out of not-enough-pins. It could be that it is truly converting a DisplayPort signal into a DL-DVI signal; or it could be Apple using custom signaling that isn't technically DVI compliant out of the mini DisplayPort, such that it needs active help to convert it back to DL-DVI. This would also explain why the DL-DVI adapter costs $100. It's not just a physical plug change.

    It is possible that someone could make a "signal changer" to allow DVI-equipped computers to connect to a DisplayPort-only monitor, but, like the DL-DVI adapter, it won't be cheap, since it has to be an active signal translator. In addition, Apple's is the first DisplayPort monitor to *NOT* include a DVI port; so at present, the market would be very limited. (Heck, you can count the number of DisplayPort-equiped monitors on one hand, and that's without including your thumb...)

    Some might point to the third-party adapters that were made for Apple's old retired "ADC" monitor connection to convert it to DVI as a mark that people are willing to target a product at a small market. Unfortunately, the ADC connection used DVI signaling deep down, it was just a custom physical plug. The adapter "only" had to convert the physical plug, then add a power brick. (ADC was really just a DVI connection plus power and USB in one physical cable.) No signal translation necessary. Unlike what would be needed here.

    Now, if you had a MacBook Pro, and someone makes a "mini DisplayPort monitor to standard DisplayPort video card" adapter, you would be able to do it; but, again, it's not cheap. Companies make devices that plug into the ExpressCard slot to convert it to an external PCI Express expansion box. This allows you to plug a desktop-style video card into this box, then connect that through the adaptor into your ExpressCard slot. (See Asus XG Station.) You would have to use a video card that has native DisplayPort, and you would lose video performance because your video card would be connecting at 1x PCI-E instead of the standard 16x PCI-E. But you could do it. (Oh, and those expansion box devices are ridiculously expensive...)

    So, back to my short answer: No, it's not going to happen.

    Edit 2: Some companies do make native ExpressCard video cards; so it's possible that someone might make an ExpressCard video card with a DisplayPort output, which would be nice, since DP is smaller than DVI. If that happens, you could upgrade a MacBook Pro to run the new monitor... But that's asking an awful lot.
     
  3. notlob macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #3
    PC External Monitor Port to 24" Apple Cinema Display

    I am not sure if this is the correct thread but here goes...

    My wife has a new Toshiba Satellite PC and wants to connect to the above Apple Cinema Display (which is only a few months old).The issue seems to be the connecting device (or lack thereof). Her Toshiba external monitor port looks like a VGA plug type (the same ones that are on the older computers which has 3 rows of 5 holes)) and the Apple Cinema display unit has a mini Display port (I think this is the name for it). Is there an adapter that I can get that would convert the Toshiba external port to the Apple Monitor? :confused:
     
  4. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    London Ontario
    #4
    No, but you can get a displayport (that is on the dispaly) to VGA or DVI adapter.
     
  5. handydandy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    #5
    order it at monoprice.com for less than 10 dollars. thats where i got mine. works flawlessly.
     
  6. notlob macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #6
  7. handydandy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    #7
    hmmm the link is not working, but i got the mini display port to HDMI cable. there is alsso miniDP to vga. it should work. i love mine and im so glad i didnt get ripped off by apple by paying like 30 more dollars.
     
  8. notlob macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #8
    Hello HandyDandy,

    Sorry about the link that did not work for you. Am still scratching my head about which particular setup I need to purchase from Monoprice. First of all, given that the Apple Cinema display has a 'male' Mini DisplayPort on the end, should mean that any connection to this Apple Cinema display monitor will require some kind of 'female' Mini DisplayPort connection to connect the Apple display to the computer. So, ideally I would have to look for a cable that on the one side, has a 'female Mini DisplayPort connection and on the other, an HDMI connection. Unfortunately however (maybe I just can't find it) I can only find a cable that has a 'male' Mini DisplayPort connection with an HDMI on the opposite side. If this is the case, I would need a cable or adapter that has on each side, a 'female' Mini DisplayPort....which I did find though they do not have any ins stock at this stage?! Would this be the connection that I should aim for? Sorry about the questions but I am trying to work my way through this and do not want to order something from Monoprice that will not do the job. Much appreciated for any further guidance. ::confused:
     
  9. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #10
    Short form: notlob, cancel your order.

    Long form: You will *NOT* be able to find anything for less than $100 that will let your VGA-output computer send a signal to the DisplayPort-only Apple Cinema Display. Period.

    The cables that were linked are for plugging a mini DisplayPort-equipped computer (such as all of Apple's current systems,) into a VGA monitor. This works because the mini DisplayPort on the computer is capable of transmitting a VGA signal, so you just need a physical converter.

    The Apple LED Cinema Display will only accept a DisplayPort signal, not VGA, not even DVI or HDMI. If your computer doesn't have a DisplayPort output (wether the 'full size' DisplayPort, or the mini DisplayPort,) then you won't be able to use the Apple Cinema Display. (This only applies to the 24" LED Cinema Display with built-in iSight camera and black glass surround. The pure-Aluminum 30" model uses a standard DVI connection. Although that also is expensive to adapt to a VGA-only computer.)

    The only adapter to plug the LED Cinema Display into a PC would be the mini DisplayPort (F) to DisplayPort (M) cable. This still requires a computer with a DisplayPort output, not VGA, DVI, or HDMI.

    Companies have worked on making true active DVI to mini DisplayPort converters that translate the DVI signal from a computer to the DisplayPort signal the LED Cinema Display uses. At present, there is only one on the market, and it costs $149. (And still requires a DVI output, not VGA. You would need to add a second adapter to convert VGA to DVI.)
     
  10. sonspot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario Canada
    #11
    sounds like its time to get a dell ultrasharp monitor.
     

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