fromMini DisplayPort (MDP) / Thunderbolt
Mini DisplayPort is the current digital standard on all current Macs to transfer video to an external display or TV. It has been introduced in 10/2008 with the release of the Unibody MacBook and MacBook Pros and has gradually been adopted on all other Macs.
MDP is capable of transmitting video, and since 2010, audio too. MDP is a miniaturised version of DisplayPort. It is also license free and can support resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600, which Mini DVI and Micro DVI are not able to do.
Since 2011, all Macs come with a Thunderbolt port, which is meant for fast data transfer and also as means to connect to an external display device to mirror or extend the Mac's screen.
To learn more about Thunderbolt (TB) and its compatibility with Mini DisplayPort (MDP): Introducing ThunderboltMDP adapters can be bought online from:
MDP to VGA adapter from Apple
MDP to DVI adapter from Apple
MDP to Dual-Link-DVI adapter from Apple
Moshi Mini DP to HDMI Adapter with Audio Support adapter from the Apple Online Store
Mini DisplayPort + USB to Dual-Link DVI adapter from Monoprice
Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter from Monoprice
Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter from Monoprice
Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter from Monoprice - *NOTE* This product does NOT support audio for Macs that outputs audio through the Mini DisplayPort.
Mini Displayport Male and USB Male/Toslink Audio to HDMI Female Converting adapter from Monoprice
Mini Displayport Male and USB Male Audio to HDMI Female Converting adapter from Monoprice - *NOTE* Will only support 2 channel stereo. Will not support 5.1 Dolby Surround like the above adapter.
Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cables from Monoprice
Mini DisplayPort to VGA Cables from Monoprice
Mini DisplayPort to DVI Cables from Monoprice
Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Cables from Monoprice
Also of interest: "What is "Mini DisplayPort"? Is it an industry-standard? How is it different from or better than Mini-DVI and Micro-DVI?"
You won't notice a difference between $5 and $50 cables because HDMI is digital... it either works, or it doesn't. If it connects properly, you're going to get the best picture possible given your equipment. If it doesn't, you're getting a blank screen. That being said, you want it to work, so spending a bit more money isn't necessarily foolish if it is for build quality rather than some Monster Cable marketing BS about gold plated connectors or co2 gas proctection from frequency interference.
Follow the above advice and read customer ratings of the product you are considering, that is honestly the best way to pick.
If you get the thunderbolt to hdmi adapter it just depends on your hdmi cable. I have bought everything from $5 hdmi to $50 hdmi cables and never seen a difference. But heres some info on hdmi:
what is hdmi
Basically now days all your hdmi's are 1.4 or 1.4a
As far as the adapter, I would just get the apple one. It seems like the knockoffs either work or they don't, so its trial and error.
the cable I will be trying:
no adapter TB to hdmi cable
Personally I hate the adapters, but I guess they have less of a fail rate than these cables. After reading reviews it seems like a buyer beware product. Some people love it and others curse the sellers/makers up and down.
I'm sure you can search many other places than amazon but as far as quality I don't see any of these all in one cables being that great, or very reliable. I am willing to take that chance because it is fairly cheap. If it doesn't work then I will go the adapter route, with a decent hdmi cable... and by decent I mean build quality and cable strength. Like Monster, who makes a good $25 hdmi cable.
let us know what you decide to do.