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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Why is apple going MINI DVI when HDMI is superior?

Why is apple going MINI DVI when HDMI is superior?
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Ado
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Mar 3, 2009, 09:21 AM
 
Why is it that Apple is sticking with mini dvi when the whole industry is going HDMI with its "all in one" feature even including sound via one cable?
If mini dvi was superior i would understand but it is only a dvi port but smaller.

A mac mini with HDMI would be great and I know a few pc ppl who wont but the mini for this reason.
     
Simon
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Mar 3, 2009, 09:25 AM
 
Why is HDMI superior? Because you save one audio cable when you hook up to a TV?

HDMI might be the interface of choice for TVs, but that does not make it the interface of choice for computer displays. Also, HDMI means paying royalties, Display Port doesn't.
( Last edited by Simon; Mar 3, 2009 at 09:35 AM. )
     
badidea
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Mar 3, 2009, 09:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Why is HDMI superior? Because you save one audio cable when you hook up to a TV?

HDMI might be the interface of choice for TVs, but that does not make it the interface of choice for computer displays.
Why not?
My HP 24" Workstation monitor at work has a HDMI input and I don't think that the picture quality is inferior to DVI!?

What's the advantage of DVI (or mini DVI)?
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Simon
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Mar 3, 2009, 09:52 AM
 
HDMI does not deliver inferior image quality compared to DVI. Neither does Display Port.
     
badidea
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Mar 3, 2009, 09:59 AM
 
Yes, I know. That's what I meant. So why should DVI still be the interface of choice for computer displays?

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wrambro
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Mar 3, 2009, 10:25 AM
 
I just thought it was kind of strange that they decided to include both the mini-DVI and mini-DisplayPort on the mini (more mini for your money I guess)
     
audvidsvs
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Mar 3, 2009, 10:53 AM
 
DVI connectors at least feature a positive connection that will not fall out on its own.
HDMI is likely to fall out on its own depending on orientation,guess how I know this?

The Video signal is identical between them which is why you can convert one to the other with a simple passive adapter.

Just because HDMI has become the consumer standard does not mean it is better,just like the now thankfully dead S-VHS idiotic connector from the consumer world.
     
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Mar 3, 2009, 11:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by badidea View Post
Yes, I know. That's what I meant. So why should DVI still be the interface of choice for computer displays?
Because DVI includes a VGA signal - and can be converted to it, with an adapter - while HDMI is digital only. Many cheaper displays still use VGA.
     
badidea
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Mar 3, 2009, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Because DVI includes a VGA signal - and can be converted to it, with an adapter - while HDMI is digital only. Many cheaper displays still use VGA.
Oh, thanks, that finally makes sense (for computers)!
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CharlesS
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Mar 3, 2009, 11:53 AM
 
Why is apple going MINI DVI when HDMI is superior?
They're not. They're evidently going Mini-DisplayPort, not Mini-DVI.

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wrambro
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Mar 3, 2009, 12:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
They're not. They're evidently going Mini-DisplayPort, not Mini-DVI.
But the new Mini has both.
     
Simon
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Mar 3, 2009, 01:24 PM
 
On the new Mac mini the included Mini DVI means S-video remains possible. Why Apple thinks the Mac mini but none of the portables need S-video is beyond me.
     
CharlesS
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Mar 3, 2009, 03:18 PM
 
My guess is that it's because there are people using the Mini as a media center, and Apple doesn't want it to lose that niche.

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Salty
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Mar 3, 2009, 05:16 PM
 
OOOooo hey does this mean I could run a Mini with two monitors?
     
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Mar 3, 2009, 05:26 PM
 
That's nice, but an MB is a pretty serious upsell compared to a mini. Do they expect to sell a mini as well as a laptop?
     
CharlesS
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Mar 3, 2009, 07:26 PM
 
You could ask the same question about why the mini has FW800 and the MacBook doesn't.

Or, I suppose, you could take the same cop-out that people have been making with FireWire and simply point out that the white MacBook has S-Video support, since it still has a mini-DVI port.

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wrambro
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Mar 3, 2009, 07:53 PM
 
You sometimes wonder if there is any method to their madness
     
hmurchison2001
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Mar 4, 2009, 03:04 AM
 
HDMI is not the answer versus DisplayPort.

DisplayPort is a packet based system with configurable lanes
that is easier to integrate into hub chips on the computer.

It can support HDMI through an adapter but it also has optional
8-channel LPCM audio and an auxiliary channel for webcams and
other data.

The reason why HDMI isn't the future for PCs is because it is focused
on connecting CE devices. A computer display connect has to have robust
support for high resolution and high bits per pixel display. DisplayPort is
designed with that ideal.

I expect to two formats to co-exist much like you can purchase HDTV today with
VGA PC input.
http://hmurchison.blogspot.com/ highly opinionated ramblings free of charge :)
     
Simon
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Mar 4, 2009, 05:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
You could ask the same question about why the mini has FW800 and the MacBook doesn't.
No, that's a different question. The Mac mini got FW800 because FW400 has been dropped. It's FW800 or nothing now (like it should have been already a long time ago). The Mac mini has 5 USB and still had more than enough space for 1 FW port.

The MB on the other hand has only two USB. Would you have wanted to see them offer only one USB so they could fit in a FW800? My guess is 95% of all potential MB buyers would rather have 2 USB than one USB and one FW.

Different preconditions, different solutions. I'm not surprised by that.

So far I have simply seen no sound reasoning for why the Mac mini would need S-video when the MBs apparently don't. To make matters worse, although Apple is touting the Mac mini's dual display capabilities, with their silly port choice they have made sure that nobody can buy both displays for a Mac mini from them. Now I know the average Mac mini buyer probably won't be getting two 24" LED ACDs (or even two 23" refurb ACDs for that matter), but preventing people from buying from your company by design? How stupid is that?
     
Simon
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Mar 4, 2009, 05:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by hmurchison2001 View Post
The reason why HDMI isn't the future for PCs is because it is focused on connecting CE devices. A computer display connect has to have robust support for high resolution and high bits per pixel display. DisplayPort is designed with that ideal.
QFT

I think people need to understand that the perfect interface for TVs isn't necessarily also the perfect interface for computers. In fact, TVs and computers have not shared the same interface ever since computer displays became their own category (previously TVs had been the display you connected to a computer).

DVI could have been that interface. DVI was great for computers (apart maybe from it's massive plug) and it worked well for TVs too. I actually bought a projector with DVI and you can't imagine how glad I am I did. Great quality, no DRM, no fuss.

DVI didn't offer the DRM the CE industry was looking for and for some reason they also really wanted to get rid of the audio cable. Enter HDMI.
( Last edited by Simon; Mar 4, 2009 at 06:47 AM. Reason: typo)
     
P
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Mar 4, 2009, 05:30 AM
 
It's the target market discussion again: On the one hand, Apple positions this a switcher desktop, so you should be able to use the display you already have. On the other hand, they want all their machines to have the mini DP. I'm sure they'd prefer to have a full DVI on the mini like they used to, but they ran out of space and had to make do with the external converter. Since you have mini-DVI, you get S-video support (by converter) for free.

That they don't have S-video converters for mini-DP is stranger.
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.
     
Simon
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Mar 4, 2009, 06:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I'm sure they'd prefer to have a full DVI on the mini like they used to, but they ran out of space and had to make do with the external converter.
Sure, but that's the same for both MDP and MDVI. People will need a dongle for VGA or DVI displays anyway. So why not just use two MDP ports?

BTW I like your new sig.
     
Big Mac
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Mar 4, 2009, 08:25 AM
 
i thought you hated sigs.

Do we know for a fact that there are cheap DVI to MDP adapters? I know there was some question about that when MDP was first introduced - has that been resolved? If so, then having two MDP ports would have made sense. But if it's difficult to go DVI to MDP and VGA to MDP, then it's almost essential to the mini market that DVI be included. Otherwise, people would not be able to BYO their own DVI or VGA displays. That seems like the only rational reason for the inclusion of MDVI. It just seems that MDP isn't as versatile as DVI in that respect, but I could be wrong.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Eug
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Mar 4, 2009, 08:53 AM
 
Personally I don't see what the big deal is, with regards to HDMI.

If you have DVI, then you have HDMI support (sans the audio). If you have Mini DisplayPort, then you have HDMI support too (once the dongles are available).

The new Mac mini has both, which is the important point here... because Mac mini now supports dual monitors.

The MB on the other hand has only two USB. Would you have wanted to see them offer only one USB so they could fit in a FW800? My guess is 95% of all potential MB buyers would rather have 2 USB than one USB and one FW.
Of course, my MacBook has 2 USB and 1 FW. The decision to drop FW on the AluMacBook was purely a marketing one, nothing more. There is no such rule that states that a consumer laptop can only have 2 USB and FW ports combined.
     
P
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Mar 4, 2009, 09:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Sure, but that's the same for both MDP and MDVI. People will need a dongle for VGA or DVI displays anyway. So why not just use two MDP ports?
And include the MDP dongle instead. Yes, that bears thinking about. Doesn't the 9400m support dual DPs? Sounds strange.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
BTW I like your new sig.
Thanks. I never have sigs, but I figured the situation warranted one.
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.
     
Simon
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Mar 4, 2009, 11:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
If so, then having two MDP ports would have made sense. But if it's difficult to go DVI to MDP and VGA to MDP, then it's almost essential to the mini market that DVI be included.
It's not any more difficult than the dongle required for Mini DVI.

There are dongles for MDP->DVI and MDP-VGA.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB...ode=MTY1NDA5OQ
http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB...ode=MTY1NDA5OQ

Had the new Mac mini had MDP and full-sized DVI I would have maybe understood. But MDP and MDVI is just silly.
     
Simon
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Mar 4, 2009, 11:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
And include the MDP dongle instead. Yes, that bears thinking about. Doesn't the 9400m support dual DPs? Sounds strange.
Exactly. The MDVI requires dongles just the same, so why not use dual MDPs? The only difference is S-video for which no MDP dongle exists (so far). I don't know. From a purely technical POV this just doesn't make sense to me.

Thanks. I never have sigs, but I figured the situation warranted one.
I know exactly what you mean.
( Last edited by Simon; Mar 4, 2009 at 11:31 AM. )
     
Tegeril
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Mar 5, 2009, 05:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Salty View Post
OOOooo hey does this mean I could run a Mini with two monitors?
Yes, it is natively dual monitor capable now.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 6, 2009, 03:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Exactly. The MDVI requires dongles just the same, so why not use dual MDPs? The only difference is S-video for which no MDP dongle exists (so far). I don't know. From a purely technical POV this just doesn't make sense to me.
mini DVI is HDCP-free and supports S-video.

mini DisplayPort is HDCP-encumbered and doesn't support S-video.

For a machine that's frequently bought as a media center, there'd be *outrage* if it went mini DisplayPort exclusively at this point.
     
P
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Mar 6, 2009, 06:04 AM
 
Actually, DVI and DP are the same status with regards to DRM: HDCP is optional but not required. DP also supports DPCP, another version of the same thing. For HDMI, HDCP support is required. Apple seems to have included HDCP (or possibly DPCP) in their MDP port and not in the DVI, but that could change with Snow Leopard or, for that matter, 10.5.7.

According to Wikipedia (yes, not entirely reliable, but it's usually correct on stuff like this), DP supports YCbCr signals and analog signaling systems, so there is no reason (that I can see) that S-video could not be supported by DP using a new adapter. If I were Apple, I'd develop an S-video adapter for MDP and put dual MDPs on the mini.

(Simon and I agree again. What has the world come to?)
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.
     
Simon
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Mar 6, 2009, 09:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
mini DVI is HDCP-free and supports S-video.
mini DisplayPort is HDCP-encumbered and doesn't support S-video.
As P pointed out above that's not right. DVI and DP can both carry DRM. They don't have to. HDMI on the other hand always has it.

Apple has chosen to use DPCP on DP, but that was their choice. They could just as well implement CP on DVI just as well.

DP has nothing to do with CP per se. Contrary to HDMI I might add (which is also why the CE industry loves HDMI).

For a machine that's frequently bought as a media center, there'd be *outrage* if it went mini DisplayPort exclusively at this point.
That doesn't make any sense either. Apple took the very same outrage into account on all the portable Macs (don't tell me portables couldn't use S-video!). And now all of sudden they reverse on their cheapest Mac? Not very likely. It's really a weird decision. And it doesn't appear to follow any specific strategy at all.

And from a business POV it's actually quite silly. They just made sure every dual-display setup is powered by at least one display from a competitor.
( Last edited by Simon; Mar 6, 2009 at 09:56 AM. )
     
Simon
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Mar 6, 2009, 09:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
(Simon and I agree again. What has the world come to?)
I noticed the same thing! It's becoming quite creepy actually.

Kanske är det för att vi båda bor i Sverige.
( Last edited by Simon; Mar 6, 2009 at 10:56 AM. )
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 6, 2009, 12:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
That doesn't make any sense either. Apple took the very same outrage into account on all the portable Macs (don't tell me portables couldn't use S-video!). And now all of sudden they reverse on their cheapest Mac? Not very likely. It's really a weird decision. And it doesn't appear to follow any specific strategy at all.

And from a business POV it's actually quite silly. They just made sure every dual-display setup is powered by at least one display from a competitor.
I realize that in America, the entire population went into debt to buy $2000 flat-panel TVs on credit, but I assure you that in the rest of the world, where people buy things they can actually pay for, a media PC damn well better be able to connect to a ****ing television set.
     
CharlesS
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Mar 7, 2009, 11:46 AM
 
^

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Simon
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Mar 7, 2009, 12:22 PM
 
I agree entirely with that logic But apparently Apple doesn't since none of their new portables (read except for the white MB) can connect to S-video.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 7, 2009, 05:47 PM
 
Presentation laptop != media PC.

I did use that exact term for a fairly specific reason.
     
Drakino
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Mar 7, 2009, 06:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
And include the MDP dongle instead. Yes, that bears thinking about. Doesn't the 9400m support dual DPs? Sounds strange.
Thats what I am wondering too. The spec page isn't clear on how many of each port type it supports. My guess is that the Mini ended up with Mini DVI and Mini Displayport due to it not supporting dual Displayport. Being a mobile graphics chip, it's likely geared to support an external port of some kind, and DVI or LVDS for the internal LCD. The Macbooks still use LVDS, even though displayport for the built in LCD would simplify wiring a bit.
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CharlesS
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Mar 13, 2009, 12:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Or, I suppose, you could take the same cop-out that people have been making with FireWire and simply point out that the white MacBook has S-Video support, since it still has a mini-DVI port.
Apparently, I was wrong. The 2009 white MacBook and Mac mini with NVidia motherboards don't support S-Video, even through the mini-DVI port.

http://discussions.apple.com/thread....26928&tstart=0

This also bodes very poorly for any future S-Video adapters for mini-DisplayPort...

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Simon
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Mar 13, 2009, 03:37 AM
 
Nice find, Charles.

So I guess either the 9400M can't do it or Apple's drivers for the 9400M don't support it.

This then again brings up my original question. Why does Apple mix DVI and MDP (MP, Mm) instead of just standardizing on MDP?
     
   
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