Video (HDMI) input through Thunderbolt - Will it ever be possible?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MacRazySwe, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. MacRazySwe macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #1
    Hi guys,

    Remember the old 27" iMacs from 2009-2011? The ones which used the Mini Displayport rather than Thunderbolt. Back in the days, Kanex and several other companies made Mini Displayport to HDMI adapters, making it possible to connect a PS3/Xbox 360 to the iMacs display.

    In 2011 Apple introduced the Sandy Bridge iMacs with Thunderbolt technology, making it impossible for the Kanex adapters to work. Back then, in 2011, Kanex claimed they were working on a Thunderbolt compatible version of the Kanex XD Adapter. Good thing I thought, and happily purchased the Thunderbolt iMac.

    Nearly 2 years later and the adapter has yet to be released, which sucks big time as I had hoped to be able to use my iMac as a screen for my Xbox.

    Do you think there will ever be a Thunderbolt solution for HDMI input to the iMacs? Or, do you think Apple will ever introduce an iMac with proper HDMI input? I see that all of ASUS's all-in-ones have HDMI-IN, so it's a shame really that Apple refuses to introduce it in their iMacs.

    For now, the only option seems to be to purchase an old Mini Displayport-iMac, in case you want to opt for this solution. Am I right?
     
  2. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    #2
  3. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Interesting idea, but I really can't see how that would work.

    The only image you are going to get on the iMac is a live capture preview. Although I don't know the Mac software they provide, I would doubt there is a full screen preview mode, so you will likely just get a small window somewhere showing the X-Box output. And even if you could get it full screen, it will be impaired quality compared to the raw output.

    If anyone wanted to try this route though, there are other cheaper boxes that will do the same over USB, such as the Elgato Game Capture HD.
     
  4. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #4
    Agreed.

    I just wanted to point out how unlikely there would be a true solution to original request - using the iMac as a full screen HDMI monitor.

    Just get a separate monitor with an HDMI input, or live with the limitations of alternatives.
     
  5. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #5
    It was a heavy heart that I sold my 2009 27" iMac for the 2012 model, because I knew I was giving up console gaming through the iMac's display. Since then, I've picked up a different display for gaming, since I gave up waiting, too.
     
  6. steve119, Aug 21, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013

    steve119 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Hey folks, manage to bag myself a intensity shuttle for usb3.0 for £80 along with a component lead to get 720p with the ps3.

    Hdmi won't work as its hdcp protected. :(

    Should get it by next Wednesday, will be testing via fcpx and windows 7(bootcamp and fusion 5).

    I will post once the results are in. :D
     
  7. FrHa macrumors member

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  8. steve119, Aug 26, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013

    steve119 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Ok well after a whole afternoon of fighting with the USB intensity shuttle, there is a lot of hassle to get it to work with the software provided due to getting the correct way of setting the resolutions. mthis is not as straight forward as you would think it would be.

    anyway, I have finally managed to get it onto the screen in 720p, played a bit of cod special ops 2 and it worked pretty well. An occasional tiny bit of lag on occasion but otherwise fine.

    The site says this product is windows only but in the last month they have added beta support for mac on the USB version.

    I would imagine that the thunderbolt version would be seemless :D
     
  9. Mac32 Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #9
    It's not gonna be possible, unless a bunch of people write and complain to Apple. This is just Apple being difficult, not the first time...
     
  10. steve119 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    How can you say it's apples fault? It's the third party companies that are dragging their heels over putting out a solution. :rolleyes:

    Black magic design has done it but to the cost of having hdcp protection, thus gimping the input.....:mad:
     
  11. Mac32 Suspended

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #11
    You should do some more research about this. There's plenty of blame to go around, but the main issue is definately with Apple.
     
  12. steve119 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Er no I do not, you need to provide evidence of your research that apple is indeed to blame.

    I have done my research and there is nothing to suggest this is the case.;)
     
  13. iSayuSay macrumors 68040

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #13
    Yeah well how about Apple making the Thunderbolt input on the iMac backward compatible with DisplayPort? That way I could just get an HDMI to DP adapter, connect to the HDMI source and use the iMac solely as a monitor?

    Or even better how about giving iMac an HDMI input port? A simple input port won't kill or affect the thickness now, will it?

    But no .. they do not give you that. Why? Because Apple does not want to, Apple could have made it easy but again, it's all the lockdown all over again .. So again why it's not Apple's fault? Third party has nothing to do with it.
     
  14. steve119 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I'm sorry but there are ways to get hdmi into the imac, if you can afford it.

    Why do you feel that it's apples fault. They do not have to make any adaptor if they do not want to. There are companies that do not wish to make thunderbolt alternatives, or are dragging their feet.

    Do you wish to tell me how that makes it apples fault? Also would you also blame dell or hp? They do not make hdmi input adapters for their machines. Would you blame them?;)

    Also bear it in mind that intel were the people that developed thunderbolt, so by your reasoning shouldn't we be blaming them? I would probably bet there is a licensing issue right there. ;)
     
  15. Mac32 Suspended

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #15
    Everybody is entitled to an opinion. However, I strongly disagree with yours. ;) It's a very bad design choice to not make the iMac capable of receiving a video signal from an external source.

     
  16. steve119, Aug 28, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013

    steve119 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    As I've said it could be a good possibility that there are licensing issues with intel for third parties to allow thunderbolt inputs for hdmi, I'm sure I shouldn't need to point that one out what with the patent wars and all that. :)

    You said I needed to research more into what I was arguing and yet I haven't seen anything from you to prove it is in fact apple to blame for not allowing hdmi input, so therefore I will assume from that yours is an opinion also.

    I disagree with your opinion, although I feel that to a point that as we both do not have an input into the licensing or ins outs of the thunderbolt deal with intel/apple/third parties then all we have are opinions. :p

    ----------

    Oh wait, I'm right, if you want to blame anyone it's intel on their quality over quantity claims. ;)

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13...uality-more-compatible-accessories-on-the-way
    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13...-thunderbolt-keeps-accessories-off-the-market
     
  17. iSayuSay macrumors 68040

    iSayuSay

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    #17
    Yes there is .. but it's unnecessarily expensive, complicated and also induces lag. In a word, uneconomical.

    Actually many of Dell and HP's AIOs has HDMI input built in.
    It's so easy to connect a HDMI device directly to the computer without any need of adapter or active video capturer.

    Nope I don't blame Intel for developing Thunderbolt. But I blame Apple for limiting our option. Okay let's say there is a licensing issue between TB and HDMI .. then how about providing another port for HDMI input?
    Shouldn't be that hard to be done, and again DELL and HPs AIOs have it. Why not the iMac? That's right, why?
     
  18. steve119, Aug 29, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013

    steve119 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    How do you know there is lag in the black magic intensity box? have you tried it? I did the experiment with the USB 3.0 box and there was a very small occasional amount of lag there. The thunderbolt version?, well I don't know but the speed difference would probably sort that problem out.

    Yes you should blame intel for the adaptor part. They have(OWN) the licence for thunderbolt(read the links I put up), not apple. As for not putting a HDMI input into the iMacs, why should they? The majority of people do not use their iMacs for this reason, and if they did then they can probably afford the options out there.

    You realise that you can also use other usb 3.0 video inputs for windows via bootcamp right? So you're not just limited to Apple compatible products?

    Also if you bought a new iMac then you would have surely looked into the pros and cons of what inputs and outputs it can deal with. I did.

    The thread title is HDMI through thunderbolt, will it be possible? I say yes.....at a price, and if intel don't cripple the input through high costs and limited licensing.
     
  19. Shadow_of_Christ macrumors newbie

    Shadow_of_Christ

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    Dec 19, 2018
    #19
    Hey don't know how many people still visit this page to see this but I found an incredibly cheap solution

    How I got to this solution is weird cuz I didn't think it would would but I need to connect my Elgato HD60 to my MacBook 13 in 2012 unibody that runs windows for my stream (twitch.tv/Shadow_of_Christ

    so I bought HDMI to thunderbolt adapter by iVanky (best cable I've bout yet incredibly durable) and because the hdmi is set to input it works perfectly the only problem I ran into was not being able to run My HD60 due to low memory but as long as you somehow set the thunderbolt port to input you shouldn't have any trouble
     
  20. JERIKORISE macrumors newbie

    JERIKORISE

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    Feb 13, 2019
    #20
    Hello there! So i wanted to plug my camera to my computer, wich cable are you talking about and what do you mean by "hdmi set to in"? thnaks!!!
     
  21. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

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    Cascadia
    #21
    I don't know what that person was posting, but it isn't true. You can't set a Thunderbolt 2 port to "input" HDMI.
     
  22. JERIKORISE macrumors newbie

    JERIKORISE

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    Feb 13, 2019
    #22
    So there's still no way to fix this???
     
  23. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

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    #23
    Not "natively". It's not something to "fix." It's just the way it is. It's like asking why PCs with DisplayPort outputs can't take HDMI input through them.

    To input video, you need an HDMI capture device, like an Elgato Game Capture HD or similar.

    Note that in 27" 2009 or 2010 iMacs (which have just mini DisplayPort, not Thunderbolt) a simple mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter will allow for it. But that's because DisplayPort is the same basic signal as HDMI, just over a different physical plug. So since Apple enabled their plug to accept a DisplayPort signal input, it's easily converted to HDMI. This implementation is 100% custom to Apple, though. Neither the DisplayPort nor the HDMI interfaces officially have a single port be bidirectional.

    Thunderbolt is a completely different signal. Yes, Thunderbolt carries DisplayPort *OUTBOUND*, over the same plug as mini DisplayPort, so it's easy to connect older displays (including through mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapters,) the *INPUT* part of it is purely on Thunderbolt Macs is purely through the bidirectional-by-design Thunderbolt interface. They're feeding the video input through the Thunderbolt connection, while the iMac still has full Thunderbolt access to other devices it is connected to.

    For example, I have a 2011 Thunderbolt iMac connected to a Thunderbolt Dock that has an Ethernet port and multiple USB 3.0 ports. I use that Ethernet port as a second Ethernet for the iMac (which I use as a server) and the USB 3.0 ports to connect hard drives faster than the iMac's native USB 2.0. On the Thunderbolt Dock, I have the second Thunderbolt port connected to my MacBook Pro. I then use the iMac in Target Display Mode. So it's feeding the video signal from MacBook Pro to iMac, making the iMac an "extra monitor" for my MBP. But the iMac is still talking to the Thunderbolt dock and all the peripherals connected to it.
     
  24. Black Diesel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #24

    Let me know if I'm understanding this correctly....you are able to use your iMac screen for a MBP display? I would like to do this, but what do you do to switch the mouse and keyboard from iMac to MBP? Ideally, I would love to be able to buy a new iMac some day when they are released, possibly 2 monitors to match (one on each side) and then be able to switch back and forth between my MBP (work) and iMac (personal). Would I be able to do this?

    Right now I have an MBP with 3 displays on one desk, and my iMac on another desk. It would be nice to combine both into one workstation. Let me know if I could do this in the future with new iMacs and displays.
     
  25. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

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    #25
    To use the same keyboard and mouse on multiple systems, either get a keyboard and mouse that natively allow you to connect to multiple system (I use a Logitech K780 keyboard and MX Anywhere 2S mouse,) or use software like Synergy to virtually move the mouse and keyboard between computers.

    Note that no "Retina" iMac supports Target Display Mode. And even the latest ultra-low-end non-retina iMac with Thunderbolt 3 doesn't. Only 27" Mini DisplayPort and 21.5" and 27" Thunderbolt 1 & 2 non-retina iMacs support. (Officially, non-retina iMacs from 2009-2014.)

    Here's my home setup, ridiculously using too may monitors at once, including using the iMac at far left as a display for my MacBook Pro. (Normally the MBP is in a dock behind, not using its own display, not using the iPad as a display, nor using the far right display which is for my work laptop.)
    iMac as display.jpg
     

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