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mini display port and adapters

1866 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 22, 2011 10:10 AM by from paris RSS
Sobeck Level 2 Level 2 (295 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 10, 2011 5:32 PM
is there just one type of mini display port on all macs? i did a quick search on ebay for a VGA adapter for my new macbook air, and if you just search under "mac" there are some available for like 5 bucks. (i know, i know, buyer beware if you're not getting the apple brand adapter. but for five bucks...)

anyhow, if i add "macbook air" to the search, the results are considerably more expensive. it's my understanding that they're all the same adapter, but i want to make sure before buying.

MacBook Air, 27" iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (235,110 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 5:37 PM (in response to Sobeck)
    Yes. There is only one type of Mini DisplayPort.

    iMac Late 2007 Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • BSteely Level 5 Level 5 (7,635 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2011 9:42 AM (in response to Sobeck)
    But the original MBA had micro DVI, so be aware of that. But maybe that doesn't apply here. Just FYI.
  • Rhyd Level 3 Level 3 (795 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2011 12:03 PM (in response to Niel)
    There are two different versions of MiniDisplayPort capabilities. The port itself is the same but the new MBA has the capability of transporting audio as well as video through the port. That means that you need a newer adapter which shares that capability... if you want audio through the mdp port to hdmi, then you need the adapter which also can do it. More expensive and better. Do not do a dvi> hdmi because it does not have the capability. Opt for the more expensive adapter which is direct mdp >hdmi to your tv and get the full experience.
    MBA 13" 4/2.13/256 (2010), 2.53 13"MBP, MBA1.6HHD  MBP 2.4 SR LED, 8G iPhone, Mac OS X (10.6.4), MBA MBP + PPC Mac notebooks, towers, and desktops now back to System 7.
  • BSteely Level 5 Level 5 (7,635 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2011 12:28 PM (in response to Sobeck)
    ...and one more comment. I'd be leery of a $5 mDP to VGA adapter given that the adapter has to have active electronics (an A to D converter) inside of it to work.
  • from paris Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2011 10:10 AM (in response to Sobeck)
    Greetings all. Just a quick story (hopefully) re: adapters, Macbooks and external displays.

    I've seen and researched a lot of issues on Forums and Blogs re: the external display issues people are having with their MacBooks. After purchasing a MDP/VGA adapter on the Internet somewhere ($19 I think, not the Apple one) I tried to hook-up flat panel displays (a 14" LED and a 22" LCD/hooked-up individually) to my MacBook Air (purchased Aug/2009). Both displays showed-up but looked awful (individually). Other symptoms for both were:

    -a random blackout/blankout (on the external only) for about 3-5 seconds and then return to normal. Very annoying.

    -Couldn't calibrate the external(s) via System Preferences/Display/Calibrate. At the end of calibration, it would "Error" out and not accept the calibration sequence.

    -My MBA would not always "see" the external coming out of sleep. Re-do the lid slowly would sometimes correct this, or unplug and replug the adapter at the MBA would generally fix it.

    I individually hooked up the displays to my other older Macs (G4 & G4 Dual, System 9 and OSX, VGA to VGA direct, no adapter but same VGA cable). Both LCDs worked beautiful. But I noticed something. My older G4s saw the monitors and listed them by their MFG and/or product names/numbers (in display prefs and menu drop-down). It seemed to me that was not the case with the MBA. I retested with the MBA (one at a time), and sure enough, it saw them both as "VGA Monitor." I now began to suspect that my MBA was not seeing the external(s) correctly, and probably sending some type of default signal to any external monitor.

    I had read about the Pin #9 issues for both adapters and VGA cables. None of my pins were missing on both, all were there. I had also read about adapter issues and that adapters purchased from Circuit Assembly (CA) were working correctly where others had previously not, including Apple's. I was dubious because their MDP/VGA Adapter (Code/SKU #H713011) was only $13 plus ship. At this point I thought why not. What's to lose?

    When it came I first compared it to my existing adapter and they really looked identical. The only difference was the "imprint" info on the cable itself. This new one had barely anything on it. It was looking like I bought another identical adapter as my first one. So, I fired up my MBA, plugged-in the adapter & VGA cable and waited for "VGA Monitor" to appear. WHOA! There was "IK114" in the menu dropdown and Display Prefs for the external, just like with my other Macs. I left it on for about an hour and no blank or black outs. And no need to calibrate, it looked great.

    So here's the wind-up. If you're having external display issues with MacBooks, step one should be to see how your Macbook is identifying/seeing the external display. If it's not a Brand/Model specific ID, it could well be that your Macbook is not identifying what it is, and therefore, is sending a default signal, maybe even a CRT signal. Many have blamed Apple's video cards and software when in some cases, perhaps many, it is in reality adapters and cables.

    Sorry for being so long-winded, but this external display issue is huge in the Mac Community.

    (PS - IK114 = i-Inc, 14" LED, $65 + $7 ship unit at Tiger. What a great little monitor for cheap)
    Macbook Air, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Lottsa Macs


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