I’d like to plug a Blu-ray player in to the glorious diaplay on my iMac. The iMac has a connector that can apparently serve as a video input, but it is a “mini DisplayPort” connector, a new standard that Apple has decided to gift us with. Looking around the net, I see various video cards, PCs, and monitors that use the DisplayPort and mini DisplayPort connectors, but no BluRay players. Do such things exist? If they don’t, are there adaptors that will take regular HDMI signals and transform them to DisplayPort or mini DisplayPort?
It can be done, but not cheaply. It’ll cost you about $600.
This page has info on the devices you’d need to convert an HDMI signal to a DisplayPort signal.
I read a similar article about two months ago, and was wondering whether things had moved along. Yes, I’m interested in whether anyone else has released new adaptors or something, but if there are BD players already with DP, that would avoid the whole problem. I hope.
Copy protection is integrated into HDMI. The player will drop resolution from 1080p if it’s connection to a non-hdmi source. HDCP will definitely bite you in the butt.
I’m sticking with laserdiscks. I have no plans to purchase Blu-Ray.
But I thought DisplayPort supported HDCP?
Edit: yes, aceplace57’s first link mentions this. SO now the other question is, did Apple incorporate whatever HDCP needs into the iMac?
Well, here’s an update. I have just ordered the Atlona AT-HD620 Mini-DP and HDMI scaler and switch. It accepts HDMI with HDCP, and scales 1920 x 1080 HD video up to the iMac’s native 2560 x 1440 resolution. I can plug my existing BD player into it, as well as another mini-DisplayPort source.
I guess it’s a bit late now, but of academic interest: did you consider buying an external USB or Firewire Blu-Ray drive for your Mac?
I have an external USB BD writer drive. Under Mac OSX, there is no BD movie player, and HDCP support is not built into the OS. Under Windows, HDCP support is built into the OS, and BD movie-player programs are available, but the USB connection does not support HDCP.
On both OSes, the drive works; I can read and write BD discs, but not play commercial movies.
How does it look? In my experience (none with modern iMacs), even the best computer monitors tend to make relatively poor TVs. That, combined with the current pricing on small LCD TVs (in the size range of the iMac) would make me wonder if this is really worth the trouble. You can get a TV for not much more than the cost of that box.
Sahrding, I’m sure it looks great - I remember seeing similar threads on gaming boards from people wanting to use the HDMI output from their XBox 360 with the new iMac, and those that have done it have said it looked just as good as an HDTV.
I think that some people sit too close to the screen though, at the same sort of distance that they would normally expect to sit if they were using it as a computer, and so the image looks a little fuzzy - try doing that with your normal TV. You’ll see the picture doesn’t look so good from 3 feet away.
I have a smaller monitor with HDMI in, which I got for around $200, that I used with the BD player. But the Mac has a larger and better screen, and I’m trying to reduce the amount of Stuff I have. I don’t actually have a television receiver as such; I just play movie discs. If I ever get a tuner or cable/satellite box, I’ll plug it into the Mac as well.
Well, I got the scaler/convertor box and a mini DisplayPort cable. I connected the BD player to the scaler box via HDMI, and connected the scaler box to the Mac via mini DP.
When I turned the scaler box on, the Mac automatically detected the new signal and switched over. (The Mac has to already be on for this to happen, and any programs that are running just continue to run. According to the help, you can press Command+F2 to switch between the computer and the external input.)
How does it look and sound?
Video from movies looks great.
Chunky non-antialiased graphics, such as those my cheap disc player creates, don’t look as great, because they are scaled up and interpolated. If you back off, they look tolerable. Here, I think I have been spoiled by the menus and prompts of the Mac’s native presentation software, which is of course displayed at full Mac resolution, even if the movie discs the Mac plays natively are DVDs and therefore fuzzier than Blu-ray. The Mac does do a dandy job of interpolating and upsampling standard-definition DVDs though, and of course it can play high-definition video files.
The audio also passes through the HDMI and mini-DisplayPort cables. There is no separate analogue audio connection needed; audio comes out the speakers on the bottom edge of the Mac. There is a pair of stereo RCA jacks on the scaler box for reproducing audio from the HDMI stream if you are sending the video to a different DP monitor that has no built-in speakers.
Pressing Command+F2 does indeed switch between computer display and DisplayPort input display. When you’re looking at the computer, the DisplayPort audio is muted. When you’re looking at the DisplayPort input, audio from the DisplayPort input is mixed with audio being generated on the computer, such as from iTunes.
While I’m looking at the DisplayPort input video, the computer’s infrared port is still active, and I can use the remote to stop iTunes or other player programs if they’re still playing. I
The ultimate solution, of course, is for Apple to bite the bullet, and put HDMI in and out on the next iMac and include a BD drive and player software. And yes, I know that involves a lot of lawyering up and licensing and protected content paths and whatnot.
They’re halfway there. The new Mac Mini announced today has 1080p HDMI out as well as DisplayPort, but still no BluRay.
I saw that. Interesting.
This product just announced:
HDMI to mini DisplayPort, $149
Pretty much all of this looks way cheaper than the $149 box aforementioned…
I know for a fact the DisplayPort to HDMI adapter that ships with a lot of Dells is only a <$20 option (And they also have DisplayPort to DVI adapters also <$20) so they can’t be doing much but repinning at those prices.
For someone to make a “Made for the Apple iMac” product and charge $149 for it, well, I can see exactly how there’d be a market for that but I don’t want to thread crap.
For wacky reasons involving Apple’s product positoning, Mini DisplayPort -> HDMI isn’t the same as HDMI -> Mini DisplayPort. Basically, Mini DisplayPort outputs an HDMI signal, but won’t accept one.
Right. The OP is looking to use his the mini-DisplayPort INPUT on his large display iMac.
Mini-DisplayPort output adapters are relatively cheap and ubiquitous, as evidenced by monoprice’s offerings.