Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter Review


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There was much outcry when Apple unveiled their new unibody MacBook and the new Mini DisplayPort. There was even more of an outcry when it became clear that it included —High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).

As MacWorld explained at the time

HDCP is a digital rights management (DRM) specification developed by Intel to help content providers protect their content across DVI and HDMI connections. Like other forms of DRM, HDCP will not allow content to be played on non-authorized devices. And because purchased content on the iTunes Store—protected by Apple’s FairPlay DRM—is HDCP-enabled, owners of new MacBooks are finding they can no longer play the TV shows and movies they’ve legally purchased from Apple on many external displays. In other words, unless your external monitor or television is HDCP compatible, you’re be stuck watching your purchased content only on your computer.

As if that isn’t bad enough, a quick look at the Apple Store reveals that while (ridiculously expensive) Mini DisplayPort adapters are available for VGA and DVI, they haven’t released one that converts to HDMI and likely won’t.


Fortunately 3rd Parties are releasing them. I picked one up through the Amazon Marketplace for just under $25 shipped and mine came today.


It looks like any other Mini DisplayPort adapter and, when plugged into my Samsung Flatpanel, pumped the video (but not the audio) out to 61″ of HighDef goodness. That’s great timing with Apple updating iTunes to handle HD movie rentals or (if you are a really bad boy or girl) you want to watch that copy of Wolverine the FBI is looking to track down.

A number of options are available through Amazon Marketplace with prices starting at $17.74.

What I Like – Works just fine and seems to bypass the HDCP.

What Need Improvement – Yet another $25 on an adapter- arrrgh!

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

1 Comment on "Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter Review"

  1. raymondu999 | April 8, 2009 at 11:37 am |

    I read somewhere that Apple didn't wire the miniDisplayPort on the unibody laptops to actually transmit audio. Maybe one day we'll be able to buy the adapters for only $15 as opposed to Apple's premium pricing scheme.

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