Aparently Apple's software "chats" with the HDMI connector or whatever external device you are connected to. So using the same Macbook Pro from 2011 I set out to get my external screen and projector working with my laptop. Unfortunately, it randomly disconnected and displayed on either one or both screens a blue screen prior to continuing operation or disconnecting completely.
HOWEVER, when I use the Windows 7 OS I have bootcamped this connection works without a problem. I have 2 adaptors that I purchased online for ~10-20$ and they both work fine on the Windows side.
I know this doesn't help much, but if I find the article regarding the way that Apple handles this connection on the software side I will repost here.
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