The first batch of Mini DisplayPort to HDMI video adapters for unibody MacBooks started popping up earlier this year, but there was one glaring flaw: None of them supported audio. A new product slated for August will fix that.
Apogee Inc., a manufacturer of A/V and computer related products, looks to be the first company to announce a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter that carries both audio and video signals. This, of course, could be used to connect unibody MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs (in addition to Mac Minis) to high definition TVs. Released under their Kanex brand, the new adapter will reportedly ship in August 2009 and support screen resolutions up to 1080p.
Back in December 2008, MacYourself broke the news of MonoPrice.com‘s plans to introduce a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter for Apple’s new family of notebooks. They missed their original late-January target, but the highly anticipated accessory finally became available in March. Other online retailers like Amazon.com now offer similar products from a variety of vendors as well. Although they were seen as a welcomed improvement over Apple’s own Mini DisplayPort to VGA or DVI adapters, users were frustrated that only video could be carried from the computer to the television.
The Kanex Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter with USB digital audio is the solution everyone’s been waiting for. The adapter will feature two extensions on one end – one Mini DisplayPort connector for video and one USB connector for audio. Both of these will be routed into a single dongle with an HDMI input on the other end. An HDMI cable can then be run from the adapter directly to an HDTV. Both the Mac’s picture and sound will be available on the TV in all its 1080p glory, which is perfect for watching movies, playing games, etc. Since the video-out and USB ports are right next to each other on Apple’s MacBooks, there shouldn’t be any tangled cables or mess at all.
No pricing is available at this time, but it will presumably cost at least a little bit more than Kenex’s current audio-less Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter that sells for $14.99 on Newegg.com. There probably won’t be too many complaints about that as long as it works as advertised. Unibody MacBook/MacBook Pro owners have been waiting a long time for this and it looks like the wait will finally end in the next month or so! We’ll keep you posted as more information regarding pricing and where to buy comes in.
UPDATE – 8/12/09: It appears shipments of Kanex’s Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter with USB audio have been pushed back to September, according to Apogee Tech Support. The waiting game continues… check back here for an official release date when it becomes available. Thanks to Phil for the update!
UPDATE – 9/16/09: According to the folks at Kanex, there have been some production delays and shortages. I have been told they are now aiming for late-September or early-October. Unfortunately, they don’t have a more exact date available at this time. Keep checking back for news!
UPDATE – 10/16/09: Check out our review of the Kanex Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter with digital audio, which is available online now!