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Question: Lightning device to firewire 800

Still using an fine old MacBook Pro (2010) with a Firewire 800 port, I would like to attach some newer Lightning device (Blackmagic video interface HDMI to Lightning). Anyone knows if this is possible? I can only see the other option being around: firewire via adapter towards lightning...but does it work the other way around?

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Mar 19, 2018 3:00 AM in response to ontop In response to ontop

Have you thought of maybe a used MacBook Pro? I think the 13” mid-2012 hits the sweet spot. It was pretty cheap for most of its production and there are a lot of used ones available reasonably since it was out for over 4 years. It has USB 3.0 (the first MBP to have it) and Thunderbolt 1. You’re somewhat limited with yours because it’s still only USB 2.0 and no Thunderbolt. I’ve seen several for sale in the $400-500 range locally. It kind of bridges the gap for compatibility with those professional tools you’re looking to use at a reasonable price.

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Mar 16, 2018 7:44 AM in response to ontop In response to ontop

First, be sure you have the termininolgy correct:


Lightning connector is used ONLY on iPhone and iPad.


ThunderBolt 1 or 2 connector is used only on Mac (not iPhone) . If your Mac did not leave the factory with a ThunderBolt port, ALL ThunderBolt devices are dead to you. There are not now, and never will be, adapters TO ThunderBolt of any description.


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The most recent Macs have ThunderBolt-capable ports with USB-C connectors. Experts suggest USB-C is an Adjective, not a complete description of what a port can do. These computer ports can be coerced, by attaching different cables and adapters, into many different kinds of output.


Second, HDMI is ONLY an output on a Mac, and is only used to connect to a display that cannot support a better input such as [Mini] or [Full Size] DisplayPort.


I expect if you look more closely at the products available, you will find ones with the Interfaces you CAN use.

Mar 16, 2018 7:44 AM

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Mar 16, 2018 8:25 AM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

Thanks for your reply.

I really had the idea Lightning and Thunderbold were the same. Haha.😝

That being said: I did know the HDMI on nowadays Mac's are only out.

So that's where my question came from: in the old days (only 8 years ago) I connected my firewire camera farm to the firewire port to get video in the Mac. I still have this MacBook Pro from that wonderful and easy although finished period in time. Ofcourse the great advantages of thunderbold are obvious but I can't be buying new MacBooks every year because ports are getting obsolete or removed. So I'm studiing for weeks now on a method to not throw away my MBP and still getting video inside it. USB 2.0 is to slow for streaming, Firewire 800 is terminated, Thunderbold is not adaptable, HDMI is only out...I'm lost in translation between old and new.😐

Thanks again. Hoping for a refordable solution.

Mar 16, 2018 8:25 AM

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Mar 16, 2018 4:06 PM in response to ontop In response to ontop

Firewire 800 is terminated

You are writing off FireWire FAR too quickly. There continue to be cameras with a 4-pin firewire port, which is really just a FireWire-400 (6-pin) without the power pins. Conversion FireWire-400 (6-pin) <--> FireWire800 (9-pin) is a really simple adapter, because the difference is that the FireWire-800 uses twisted-pairs instead of simple wires.


Many folks are also finding that a Memory card is also a good interchange between their cameras and their Macs. If you current Mac does not have a memory card reader, you can add one very cheaply.


HDMI is only for TV sets.

Mar 16, 2018 4:06 PM

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Mar 16, 2018 4:20 PM in response to ontop In response to ontop

ontop wrote:

I really had the idea Lightning and Thunderbold were the same. Haha.😝


Bohemian Rhapsody, right?


Also - your machine's Mini DisplayPort uses the same connector/port type as Thunderbolt 1/2. It can get confusing, as this article explains:


Confusing Mini DisplayPort with Thunderbolt - CNET


Thunderbolt ports can be used to output video a DisplayPort input, but a Mini DisplayPort connection on your 2010 MBP doesn't support Thunderbolt.

Mar 16, 2018 4:20 PM

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Mar 17, 2018 3:46 AM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

The Roland video switcher family (e.g. V-1HD) which I'm going to use in some video workshops I give as a teach has HDMI out or, some of them, USB 3.0 (e.g. V-4EX) streaming out. So my Firewire 800 port has become useless since no converter exists anymore. No budget for a new Mac...Sorry guys.


(USB 2.0 is to slow for streaming, Firewire 800 is terminated, Thunderbold is not adaptable, HDMI on the Mac is only out..) 😕

Mar 17, 2018 3:46 AM

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Mar 19, 2018 3:00 AM in response to ontop In response to ontop

Have you thought of maybe a used MacBook Pro? I think the 13” mid-2012 hits the sweet spot. It was pretty cheap for most of its production and there are a lot of used ones available reasonably since it was out for over 4 years. It has USB 3.0 (the first MBP to have it) and Thunderbolt 1. You’re somewhat limited with yours because it’s still only USB 2.0 and no Thunderbolt. I’ve seen several for sale in the $400-500 range locally. It kind of bridges the gap for compatibility with those professional tools you’re looking to use at a reasonable price.

Mar 19, 2018 3:00 AM

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Question: Lightning device to firewire 800