(Some) Clarification on Apple's new Mini Displayport interface

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sdonegan, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. sdonegan macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2008
    I have seen several threads on this forum and other forums regarding Apples new Mini Displayport interface. Many posts were requests for adapters and cables such to adapt Mini Displayport to HDMI, Displayport, Svideo, Component Video, Composite Video, etc. Currently there are no non Apple manufactured Mini Displayport products. I have also seen many people wondering whether Mini Displayport is an open standard, and whether the connector used by Apple is Standard or Proprietary.

    Due to the high request for cables and adapters for the Mini Displayport interface, I have started investigating the possibility of Non-Apple companies manufacturing Mini Displayport cables and adapters. However, all of the OEM cable manufacturers I have contacted either have never heard of Mini Displayport, or say it will be several months before they will have the equipment to manufacture it, if they ever do. Overseas OEM manufacturers are still trying to get Displayport products to the market, not to mention Mini Displayport, which is only a few weeks old! Even if an OEM could get Mini Displayport manufacturing devices, it is not clear whether a cable or adapter would even work properly, because Apple has not publicly published specifications for this new standard.

    To attempt to obtain more information on Mini Displayport I contacted VESA, the company who maintains the Displayport standard. A VESA representative responded that they are not affiliated with the Mini Displayport in any way, and that I would have to contact Apple.

    Right now it is looking like even if a company wanted to manufacture Mini Displayport products, it would either take a very long time or not be possible at all, because they would not be able to obtain the manufacturing devices required to make the Mini Displayport. It looks like a very large OEM company, such as Foxconn, (which is already a major cable manufacturer) is manufacturing these cables and adapters for Apple.

    Because of these above reasons I am not feeling optimistic about seeing Mini Displayport adapters and cables for sale in the near future.
    Please post any other information or questions you may have about the Mini Displayport interface.
  2. crazyxzer0 macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2008
    this sucks!

    I am waiting on an adapter to run directly miniDP to HDMI with audio. I don't think that will be anytime soon :(
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    The Mini DisplayPort is a proprietary connector used with the DisplayPort standard. Same # of pins, data transmitted,..etc. as DisplayPort.

    Makes it into a nonstandard connection. To use it, OEM's, etc. would have to make arrangements with Apple, and I doubt this would happen without some sort of licensing/royalty agreement.

    Just seems another attempt by Apple to make more money, as cabling tends to be very profitable. Higher margins that other products, anyway.

    crazyxzer0: As for HDMI, any manufacturer that uses this, pays a $0.04 royalty per device. I don't have the impression Apple likes paying out royalty/licensing fees. Accepting them, is a different story. :p
  4. tuc macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2003
    Apple apparently plans to license mini-DisplayPort for no fee. It may even become part of the VESA DisplayPort standard. See here or here.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Thanks for the links. :)

    It really does seem to hinge on VESA's adoption though. Assuming they accept it, it seems realistic for the Mini DisplayPort to find its way into other portables, and adapter cables to become common place.

    If not, the connectors would be expensive, as Apple currently holds the IP on them. Molex couldn't just sell them to anyone without some form of royalty going to Apple. This drives the price up, no matter how marginal, and is generally resisted by other manufacturers. Just look at Apple's relationship with HDMI. :rolleyes:
  6. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Apple cannot license something for a fee when it's an open standard in the first place.

    Also the adapter is a rip-off. The single-link adapter is $30 when probably only costs 50¢ to make. Maybe $2 including shipping, labor, packaging.
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Looking over the Licensing Agreement, Apple is only licensing the use of the connector. Not anything else related to DisplayPort.

    To me, this still smells a little of underhanded tactics. I get the impression Apple wants to control others in the industry. :rolleyes:

    Just old fashioned greed. :rolleyes: ;)

    They're even having problems with the Dual Link DVI to Mini DisplayPort adapter, according to the second article, and it's causing delays. And they want $100 for it when it actually shows up. Just for the "privilege" of using any of their computers with a competitor's monitor. //Grr...
  8. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    Are Apple competing with Apple?

    You also need that adaptor to connect the new MacBooks to the 30" Apple Cinema Display.
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I meant the portable market. Molex manufactures the Mini DisplayPort connector, and would love to see it be adopted as a standard. Their sales would rise drastically on a part that's already in production. Apple would love to control that section of industry, as it can make their products seem more competitive, given their pricing structures. Apple computer + monitor vs. other computer + monitor + adapter/s. It would reduce the price difference. Simple.

    And as far as the 30" ACD's, Apple has indicated the entire ACD line will be updated to Mini DisplayPort, so it would only affect the countless units already produced and/or sold. (Should cover existing unsold stock). ;)

    Nice way to make existing customers come back and buy more. By force due to the total lack of options. :mad:
  10. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    For now just buy the mini display port to dvi and buy a dvi cable if you need to connect to an HDTV. But the mini display port to dvi works like a charm on the 23" acd.
  11. fathom macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    Any idea when the next VESA standard (or draft) will be released? I saw on another site that manufacturers will be waiting until/if VESA publishes the new standard before starting to gear up for production of any Mini DisplayPort parts.
  12. Citizento macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
    What about using two adapters?

    I am trying to connect my last generation MacBook 13,3" with my old Tv. Only option: composite video cable. The problem is: no mini displayport - composite adapter right now. So what about using a mini displayport - dvi and then a dvi-Apple composite video adapter? The two cables are going to cost $50, but is it going to work? :confused:
  13. petz0ldt macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2008
    I have found a few threads online talking about minidisplayport to hdmi most of them say that they will be coming mid to late january 2009. anyone know if there is any truth to these?



    or should i just spend the $50 or so to buy a minidisplayport to dvi, a dvi cable and then a dvi to hdmi. of course this option wouldn't have any sound but i guess that wouldnt be a big deal as i am planning on using my lcd tv as as monitor/tv that sits right on my desk so i could use my normal computer speakers while using the tv as as monitor for playing movies and such.
  14. petz0ldt macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2008
  15. thedon0922 macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
  16. petz0ldt macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2008
    just ordered the cables today they should be hear in a couple of days and ill let you know if it works. everything Should work except for the audio which i plan on just using my other speakers for.
  17. thedon0922 macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008

    Nice. When they arrive/get hooked up, let me know if they worked. I have an old MBP which has the DVI connection, which was easy to deal with. Just got a $4 cable that does DVI > HDMI ( like you got)....but I also have a new MB that has requires the thing from apple:mad:
  18. petz0ldt macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2008
    will do. the apple adapter says it will be here on the 31st and the other one should be here soon after. ill post how it goes in this thread as soon as i test it out.
  19. petz0ldt macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2008
    ok so i just got the second cable in the mail today and hooked everything up. it works perfectly just no audio but that was expected. there were no over-scanning problems or anything. and let me yell you, cod4 looks pretty amazing on a 22' lcd hdtv :)
  20. thedon0922 macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
    thanks for the update. I dont know what i am going to do, since my gf has the older MBP, and all i needed was a DVI > HDMI cable. Hooked that mf'er up and bam, 42" inches of mac.:D

Share This Page