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Apple working on first HDMI-equipped Macs?

updated 12:50 pm EST, Mon March 1, 2010

Move could be needed to catch up with industry

Apple will at last start adding HDMI ports to Macs later this year, sources claim. Prototypes of a new Mac mini are said to be circulating with an HDMI connection in place of the earlier DVI port. Next to this is a mini DisplayPort connection, meant for use with the Cinema Display or another DP-compatible monitor. The new Mini is otherwise cosmetically identical to the current model, according to an AppleInsider report.

The swap could be a recognition of the Mini's popularity as a media center PC, since it is roughly the same size of a dedicated media set-top while, unlike the Apple TV, supporting full Mac functions. The computer is also capable of 1080p video, greater storage and operating without DRM or interface limitations. HDMI could alternately be used to connect to monitors without DisplayPort.

One of the prototypes is said by AppleInsider to use NVIDIA's MCP89 chipset, which would replace the MCP79 (GeForce 9400M), included in many Core 2 Duo-based Macs. Core i3-, i5- and i7-series processors would have to be excluded from Minis however, as Intel and NVIDIA remain in a squabble over licensing matters. Switching to Intel integrated graphics could solve this problem.

For other Macs Apple is said to be working on a mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter, which may in fact have been intended to ship alongside the most recent iMacs. Blu-ray drives were expected to be an option for the systems, but may have been stripped at the last moment because of technical hurdles, and an Apple management decision that the license for Blu-ray would be too expensive relative to the longevity of the platform. The company is pushing to make the iTunes Store a prime delivery vehicle for movies and TV shows.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. dprimary

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Buy an adapter

    There are 3rd party adapters form display port to hdmi already.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Buy another adapter

    You can buy a DVI to HDMI adapter for a couple of dollars. that has worked like a charm converting both directions in every situation and hardware setup I've tried it on.

  1. freshh20

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    HDMI needs sound or worthless

    Unless Apple includes sound output HDMI is no better than DVI.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Another chance to gouge the users

    Those who have existing mini-DVI-to-DVI adapters would have to shell out another $30 for HDMI-to-DVI adapter (If they are using two DVI monitors in the office. How convenient.

    The profit margin is easily 70% on one of those adapters.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    If the Mac Mini gets HDMI,

    there doesn't seem like there'd be much use for AppleTV. You're paying more for the Mac Mini, but you can do so much more with it such as adding drives, recording to DVD, get a tuner stick and record from OTA and PVRs with scheduling. Apple needs to scrap AppleTV because there are so many other capable alternatives.

  1. komentarz

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    DisplayPort is royalty free, HDMI is not

    I'm not so sure about this rumor. I think Apple is pushing DisplayPort heavily because it is a *royalty free standard* and a direct competitor to HDMI. From what I read (and understand) it seems to be a better thought out connection solution (at least specs wise).

    Maybe Apple doesn't want to be hassled with licensing HDMI, so they are pushing DP. If DP catches on (my monitor has DP, DVI, VGA, and HDMI inputs) it could save Apple big bucks in the future.

    Just a thought...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisplayPort

  1. vintagegeek

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    HDMI

    About FREAKING Time. People have been screaming for this for 3 years. Damn TVs are built with 3 or more HDMI ports. Hellloooo.

  1. vintagegeek

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    HDMI

    Put the HDMI in and I'll pre-order today.

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    why bother with HDMI port?

    I recently bought a pretty good mini DP to HDMI cable from monoprice.com and I get 1080p output from my MBP. For audio I use optical audio out cables to my home theatre and believe me it is a great system. No licensing from Apple increasing the price etc. All Apple needs to do is supply one of these cables or just tell users that they can source one from monoprice.com. Quiet frankly the cable cost me $12.45 including 3 day shipping. What more do I need?

    I am planning to buy a Mac Mini and can use this cable pretty much the same way.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: That's why

    We should all boycott or abandon, BluRay, which according to Steve Jobs is "a bag of hurt" ... and you can see why. For some stupid encryption, which has been broken and squashed many times over, we have to put up with some stupid cabling requirement and buy silly expensive adapters.

    First off, you need to step away from the Kool-aid.

    Second, I know it is common thought, but Steve Jobs is NOT the almighty or the king of kings, and, as such, his word is not, by default, gospel. It could be that he called Blu-Ray a 'bag of hurt' because it conflicts with his business plan for Apple TV and Video downloads.

    Third, and I'd hate to break it to you, but HDMI and cabling requirements are completely separate from Blu-Ray. In fact, you can't play a lot of purchased HD video on an Apple TV without making sure there's all that special cabling and restrictions going on. This has nothing to do with Blu-Ray, it has to do with the rights holders demanding the encryption.

    Fourth, the only 'expensive adaptors' you need to buy are the ones to connect, say, mini-DP to some other common hardware format, which you already need to do. If HDMI was built in, then you wouldn't need adaptors to plug into your TV, would you?

    The truth is that Blu-Ray seems to have gained a lot of ground, and a lot of hardware manufacturers have figured out that 'bag of hurt' Jobs is complaining about. h***, even MS got Blu-Ray to work. And you'd think if there were any group of engineers who'd have problems with it, it would be them.

    I personally preferred DVI over all of these things, because it was pure digital video signal without any encumbrances, such as DRM and encryption.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but DVI had encryption and DRM (it was optional). Sure, Apple didn't support it, but that's neither here nor there. The DVI port on my old HD receiver would not work with my TV because the TV's DVI did not have HDCP on it.

    This is why I hate the movie studios ... they're just really stupid people. For no reason at all (and no gain to them), they just make everybody's lives, more expensive and more complicated.

    That's right. They're biggest goal is to inconvenience you.

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