New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

MiniDisplay Port to HDMI Cables 'Unlicensed' and Cannot Be Sold

Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables, such as those used to connect recent-generation MacBook Pro's to high-definition televisions do not comply with the official HDMI specifications.


HDMI Licensing, LLC, the trade group that controls adoption of the HDMI specification, explained the situation to TechRadar UK:
The HDMI specification defines an HDMI cable as having only HDMI connectors on the ends. Anything else is not a licensed use of the specification and therefore, not allowed.

All HDMI products undergo compliance testing as defined by the Compliance Testing Specification. The CTS clearly defines necessary tests for all products defined in the HDMI Specification. Since this new cable product is undefined in the Specification, there are no tests associated with this product. It cannot be tested against the Specification.
Basically, a cable that has a HDMI connector at one end and a Mini DisplayPort connector at the other is not a "true" HDMI cable, and is thus, by definition, outside the HDMI specification.

As a result, these cables are considered unlicensed by HDMI Licensing and are not to be sold. Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables can still be found, for example at the Apple Online Store -- but some retailers, like MonoPrice.com, have already discontinued their mDP to HDMI offerings.

Instead, users can buy Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Female dongles. These dongles, when combined with a standard HDMI-HDMI cable, connect MacBook Pros, and other devices with mDP ports, to high-definition televisions and desktop monitors that accept HDMI.

Most Macs made in the past 18 months support multichannel audio passthrough via Mini DisplayPort. This means that users can connect one cable from their computer to a HDTV or surround sound system, and it will carry audio and video signals over the single cable.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

45 months ago


That looks ****ing ridiculous. If you pay them their 5 cents per device why can't they be happy?
Rating: 21 Votes
45 months ago
So what does that mean for all the HDMI-DVI cables I have lying around?

lol.
Rating: 13 Votes
45 months ago
Why does HDMI Licensing, LLC have influence over sites like MonoPrice?

Why can't retailers continue to sell cables that people want even if the cables don't have an "industry certification"?
Rating: 12 Votes
45 months ago
Son of a bitch!
Rating: 12 Votes
45 months ago

Apple should just stop with their own priority ports and implement a HDMI port on macbooks. Stupid enough that you have to buy an adapter to use any non-apple monitor.

If you meant to call MDP proprietary, you would be wrong. Apple doesn't own the standard, it's part of the Displayport standard - a VESA standard.

HDMI is actually more proprietary than MDP is.

ETA: Beaten to the punch by a ton of folks...
Rating: 12 Votes
45 months ago
Oh really? Can they stop me? Nope.
Rating: 11 Votes
45 months ago

Apple should just stop with their own priority ports and implement a HDMI port on macbooks. Stupid enough that you have to buy an adapter to use any non-apple monitor.


While I agree with your point, Apple isn't using a proprietary (I assume that's what you meant) port. mDP is a standard used by a bunch of computer companies, most notably favored by Dell. It's clearly a better technology for monitors. But, like I said, I agree with your point and think there should be an HDMI port on Apple laptops.
Rating: 11 Votes
45 months ago

So what does that mean for all the HDMI-DVI cables I have lying around?

lol.


It means that you have a product that they don't like. I like it though. I like it very much. :)
Rating: 9 Votes
45 months ago

Apple should just stop with their own priority ports and implement a HDMI port on macbooks. Stupid enough that you have to buy an adapter to use any non-apple monitor.

DisplayPort is becoming the defacto standard for monitors. HDMI's 10.2 Gbps doesn't have the bandwidth for 2560x1600 or dual 1900x1200 you get on monitors.



http://www.pcb007.com/pages/zone.cgi?a=76143
Rating: 9 Votes
45 months ago

Yet another failure related to Mini DisplayPort! That's the worst thing ever. First this, then Thunderbolt. Incompatible with everything.

How come all projectors STILL use VGA, and the newer ones HDMI and not Mini DisplayPort? It's because Apple makes the wrong choices with stupid connectors.


Possibly because projectors are video equipment, not monitors, and as such need to connect to things other than computers (such as Blu-Ray players, which will only support HDMI for HD output), and projectors don't have to support >1080p resolutions (that monitors do).

HDMI doesn't work beyond 1920x1200, and monitors are far larger. Thus Apple uses a more flexible standard. You can drive an HDMI TV with a $20 dongle. You cannot drive a 2560x1600 monitor with HDMI, period. Newer computers will use Thunderbolt, which includes mDP.

So in essence, you want Apple to abandon a more capable port that is the basis for Thunderbolt and has increasing adoption in the PC space, for one that is limited to HDTV resolutions and can be replaced with a $20 dongle.

Thank God you don't run Apple. :rolleyes:
Rating: 8 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]