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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > MIni Displayport -> HDMI cable Question...& anyway to add optical sound?

MIni Displayport -> HDMI cable Question...& anyway to add optical sound?
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Jolt21
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Apr 14, 2009, 07:35 PM
 
I found a couple of Mini Displayport -> HDMI cables (one on newegg, one on monoprice), but i know they dont carry sound.

Couple questions. Has anyone used these cables? Is the one on newegg better? reviews on the one on monoprice say the housing is pretty cheap

and is there anyway to get optical sound out of my unibody MBP? i dont have external speakers, so I want to use the TV speakers so when I watch a movie the sound doesn't come from somewhere else...but I don't want to use analog if possible...
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ibook_steve
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Apr 14, 2009, 08:09 PM
 
I don't own it, but I'd trust anything from Monoprice. They are the best.

And for your audio:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

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pcummins
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Apr 16, 2009, 03:10 AM
 
The Unibody MBP has optical out from the headphone jack, so you just get a mini-jack to TOSLink optical cable and you're good to go. I use a joiner to quickly plug in the MBP if I need to, admittedly be nicer if Apple supported audio out over the Mini DisplayPort connector...
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 16, 2009, 03:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by pcummins View Post
admittedly be nicer if Apple supported audio out over the Mini DisplayPort connector...
Does anybody have a clue why they don't?
     
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Apr 16, 2009, 05:26 AM
 
Didn't get around to it yet, I think. Audio over HDMI on Widnows has some definite issues still, and some light googling shows that the GF9400 has it's share of them.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
ibook_steve
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Apr 16, 2009, 01:15 PM
 
Taking a quick look at Wikipedia, I would bet there's no audio for a couple of reasons:

1) MDP has higher resolution than DP: Apple may have used the lanes that could be optionally used for audio to allow it to achieve higher display resolutions.

2) GPU support: I think the GPU that drives the port would need to be able to pass through audio from a separate sound chip. Perhaps the GPU selected can't do this or the feature is not used because of #1 above.

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Apr 17, 2009, 05:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by ibook_steve View Post
2) GPU support: I think the GPU that drives the port would need to be able to pass through audio from a separate sound chip. Perhaps the GPU selected can't do this or the feature is not used because of #1 above.
Since the 9400 does support audio over HDMI, that seems unlikely. Cannot comment on your first comment, though.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
drnkn_stylz
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Apr 17, 2009, 05:02 PM
 
I have the Monoprice MDP-HDMI adapter and it definetly work well. It does feel cheaper than the Apple adapters I have, but it works like a charm and $15 CDN wont break my wallet

As stated already MDP has all the same pins as DP, and theoretically can produce sound. What is unknown is if Apple did use the pins for high resolution in exchange for audio output. It also could simply be a firmware issue either from Apple or NVIDIA. Basically nobody is giving any official info so it's all just word of mouth and trial and error.
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CharlesS
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Apr 17, 2009, 05:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by drnkn_stylz View Post
As stated already MDP has all the same pins as DP
Does it? If this is true, then why is there no adapter for MDP to DP?

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Simon
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Apr 18, 2009, 03:00 AM
 
They both have the same number of pins.

But they're not necessarily the same pins. And my guess is, we haven't seen a MDP->DP adapter yet precisely because those pins aren't doing the same things.
     
CharlesS
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Apr 18, 2009, 03:09 AM
 
That's my guess, too.

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Jolt21  (op)
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Apr 18, 2009, 07:34 PM
 
just got the parts in today...my TV only has a digital audio OUT, so that was a bust (and no receiver in my room...so booo. cord is only useful for living room i guess)

the miniDisplay to HDMI works great. screen is so crisp on 42' 1080p panny tv.
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mduell
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Apr 20, 2009, 07:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by ibook_steve View Post
1) MDP has higher resolution than DP: Apple may have used the lanes that could be optionally used for audio to allow it to achieve higher display resolutions.
Except the part where DP/MDP is packet based...

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
But they're not necessarily the same pins.
But they are, per the WP reference above.
     
Simon
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Apr 21, 2009, 01:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
But they are, per the WP reference above.
Nice try. The WP pages actually show different pin outs for both ports (not every DP port can be found on MDP). That aside, there is also no functional mapping for each MDP pin to a DP pin. So no, for all we know they don't have to be identical.

If it were actually that simple, somebody would have already taken a soldering iron and reported how they were able to get full DP functionality from the MDP output long ago.
( Last edited by Simon; Apr 21, 2009 at 02:20 AM. )
     
mduell
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Apr 21, 2009, 07:08 PM
 
What difference do you see?
I see ML_Lane [0-3] ([np]), five GND, CONFIG[12], AUX CH ([np]), Hot Plug, Return, and DP_PWR for both DP/mDP and no additional pins on either.
     
Simon
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Apr 22, 2009, 12:37 AM
 
Check again.
     
tooki
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Apr 22, 2009, 03:11 AM
 
The only difference is that the DP page shows pin 19 as "Return" (Return for Power) and 5 grounds, where MDP lists six grounds. A common "return for power" is... ground.

My hunch, bolstered by comparing the two, is that there is zero electrical difference between DP and MDP.

As for why there aren't MDP->DP adapters... show me one DP-equipped display that doesn't also have a DVI input. So far, there's no need for it.
     
CharlesS
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Apr 22, 2009, 03:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by tooki View Post
As for why there aren't MDP->DP adapters... show me one DP-equipped display that doesn't also have a DVI input. So far, there's no need for it.
To connect a Mac to the DVI input requires $30 for an adapter, plus the price of the DVI cable. If the monitor is 30", you need $100 for the adapter plus the price of the cable, and you have to sacrifice one of your USB ports. You also have to have a bulky, ugly dongle hanging off the side of your laptop, which it seems would be something Mac users would prefer to avoid. With DisplayPort, you'd be able to connect to any of these monitors for nothing more than the price of a cable with DP on one end and MDP on the end... if Monoprice would make such a cable. Why haven't they? It seems like it would be easy enough, if DP and MDP are indeed the same electrically.

Which someone should be able to prove, incidentally, if they can splice a MDP connector onto a DP cable.
( Last edited by CharlesS; Apr 22, 2009 at 03:27 AM. )

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Simon
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Apr 22, 2009, 04:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
With DisplayPort, you'd be able to connect to any of these monitors for nothing more than the price of a cable with DP on one end and MDP on the end... if Monoprice would make such a cable. Why haven't they? It seems like it would be easy enough, if DP and MDP are indeed the same electrically.

Which someone should be able to prove, incidentally, if they can splice a MDP connector onto a DP cable.
Exactly. It would be so simple. MDP cable + DP cable + wire cutter + soldering iron = ?

And nevertheless we have not seen a single report of anybody successfully doing it.
     
mduell
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Apr 22, 2009, 07:53 PM
 
Perhaps something to do with that massive installed base of DP displays...
     
CharlesS
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Apr 22, 2009, 11:08 PM
 
... which Apple clearly wants to increase, making it even more bizarre that they don't release a cable of this type to facilitate this (which would not only allow Macs to connect to third-party monitors more easily, but also allow Apple's monitors to connect to DisplayPort-equipped PCs).

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Big Mac
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Apr 22, 2009, 11:46 PM
 
Darn it. Charles, when are you going to get hired by Apple to champion all of our causes? We need someone on the inside.

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CharlesS
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Apr 23, 2009, 01:29 AM
 
You know that people who work at Apple generally aren't allowed to post here anymore, right?

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Big Mac
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Apr 23, 2009, 05:00 AM
 
Yeah, but if you solved all of our gripes we'd have to less to bitch about anyway.

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drnkn_stylz
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Apr 23, 2009, 02:45 PM
 
Come on guys we are talking about MDP and DP. The 2 least commonly used display connectors available. I am not surprised nobody has made adapters since it's still a niche market. Monoprice made the adapters for DVI, VGA, and the long awaited HDMI because those ARE the most common.

I have never seen a display with DP on it in person, ever.

What I think needs to be done is disect this damn MDP and see what kinda guts it has. Too many unanswered question.

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CharlesS
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Apr 23, 2009, 03:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by drnkn_stylz View Post
I have never seen a display with DP on it in person, ever.
The Dell 2408wfp I'm using right now has DisplayPort. HP has some pretty nice monitors using it, too, as does Samsung, I think.

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Apr 24, 2009, 03:46 AM
 
I have to admit, I'm confused as to why Apple is using it. I don't see any massive technical benefits compared to HDMI - I only ever saw DP as a way to force down the licensing costs of HDMI, and they've gone down now, so why bother?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Big Mac
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Apr 24, 2009, 07:22 AM
 
I don't know of too many computer displays that use HDMI. DP is the successor to DVI.

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Apr 26, 2009, 05:42 PM
 
HDMI also wants to be the DVI successor. DP was only conceived of when it became clear that HDMI would be an expensive proposition.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
olePigeon
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Apr 27, 2009, 12:38 PM
 
Plus, I bet people were getting tired of the stupid HDMI cable falling out every time the monitor was moved a small amount.

HDMI is a horrible design.
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Apr 27, 2009, 05:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Plus, I bet people were getting tired of the stupid HDMI cable falling out every time the monitor was moved a small amount.

HDMI is a horrible design.
Ever used SCART cables?

Seriously, I'm a bit surprised at that. I have several HDMI cables to and from the receiver, and they never fall out no matter how much I pull at things. HDMI isn't perfect - it has issues with very long cable lengths, for instance - but they got the basics right.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
   
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