Uh-oh, another AV cabling technology is on its way to upset electronics consumers. Just when you thought HDMI was the thing to get, DisplayPort raised its head up, but it’s possible that DisplayPort may not even make much of a showing if new tech HDBaseT makes a big splash. …
Yesterday Apple announced a completely redesigned Mac mini which features up to 2x the graphics performance using the NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor, a new HDMI port, new SD card slot and industry-leading energy efficiency in a unibody aluminum enclosure. The new Mac mini is priced at $699 and comes in two options including preinstalled with Mac OS X and iLife or with Apple’s server software – Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server.
What do the Geeks think? Basically the upgrade to the Mac mini is a miss. Apple has implemented an HDMI port and created a very energy efficient device perfect for the family room or living room using the TV as a display but neglected to include a Blu-ray drive opting instead for Apple’s standard Superdrive as Steve Jobs apparently still thinks Blu-Ray is a “bag of hurt”. Apple has skin in the HD movie and TV options with iTunes and apparently will continue to count on the digital media option rather than Blu-Ray. At least Jobs allowed HDMI on the Mac mini even with it’s “limited” resolution.
Get your computer hooked up to your TV with this VGA to HDMI scaler converter from Altona. This converter scales whatever the native resolution of your computer is to 1080p and push that over via HDMI to your HDTV. In addition, since VGA doesn’t transfer audio, you can hook up the audio cable to the audio output on your computer to get audio as well.
That’s it. Nuff said. Go get one.
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)
Apart from USB 3.0, there’s another new spec/update that you should keep an eye on, and that’s HDMI 1.4 [original press release]. Oh yeah, didn’t know those had versions, did ya?! Yes they do, and it can become quite confusing as products with the older technology remain in stock on store shelves.
HDMI has a new specification, version 1.4, which will allow for 2 new things: bi-directional audio via an audio return channel and data transfer via the Ethernet spec. So that can mean even fewer cables. Of course, it can mean even more consumer confusion.
On the bright side, having an Ethernet channel built into the cable will mean being able to hook up your AV devices with each other and your home network without extra cables. Devices that support the new spec may be out as early as next year.
The HDMI 1.4 spec can be downloaded from the HDMI Licensing organization‘s (founded by a number of big name electronics manufacturers) website.