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DVI Video + Digital Coaxial and Digital Optical Audio to HDMI® Converter
Connect a legacy HD video device or your computer's video and audio output to an HDMI-equipped HDTV using this DVI Video + Digital Coaxial and Digital Optical Audio to HDMI® Converter from Monoprice!
Before the nearly universal adoption of HDMI, many HD devices were released with a DVI video output. Additionally, many computer video cards are equipped with DVI outputs, instead of HDMI. This adapter allows you to combine the video signal from a DVI video source with either a Digital Coaxial or Digital Optical Audio output into an HDMI audio/video signal for use with an HDTV or HDMI-equipped AV receiver.
- User's Manual (Jul 25, 2012)
HDMI, the HDMI Logo, and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC in the United States and other countries.
To complicate things further, she has a 13" MacBook Pro (mid 2009) that she wanted to hook up to the TV. The Mac has a mini-displayport connector, so naturally I figured we'd use a mini-displayport to HDMI cable. The bad news is the mid-2009 MacBook Pro doesn't output audio at all over the mini-displayport connector, leaving you with an HDMI picture but no sound. (mid-2010 and later MacBooks Pros *do* support audio output thru mini-displayport)
So to make a long story short, after some research, I decided on the following items from Monoprice:
5369 DVI & S/PDIF Digital Coax/Optical Toslink Audio to HDMI Converter $29.40
5999 6ft 32AWG Mini DisplayPort to DVI Cable - White $8.92
1557 6ft Toslink to Mini M/M 5.0mm OD Molded Cable $2.41
7853 15ft 28AWG Standard Speed w/ Ethernet HDMI Cable w/ Ferrite Cores - Black $5.70
This allowed us to convert mini-displayport to dvi + toslink audio to HDMI for the TV. All the audio and video remain fully digital from end-to-end. It works perfectly. Beautiful picture and great sound. I was a bit skeptical after reading some of the negative reviews here on the DVI to hdmi converter, but at least for this MacBook and this TV, it worked perfectly.
* I read a review where someone claims that the DVI-to-HDMI converter converts the signal from digital to analog and back to digital. Not true. I opened the converter box out of curiosity and looked up the chips inside. They are high-speed serializer-deserializer ICs for DVI and HDMI. A digital DVI signal goes in, along with digital audio, and these get re-framed for HDMI signaling over a single HDMI cable. Seems like a very clean design. One thing that *might* happen is that perhaps digital RGB pixels are converted to YUV colorspace or vice-versa, I'm not sure. (the chips may support that functionality)
* The computer *does not* see the EDID from the attached TV as far as I can tell the converter box has its own EDID and set of supported resolutions reported to the computer. But these seem to include all the common TV resolutions, and the worked fine for me.
* A few reviewers claimed that 1080p didn't work or that the picture was cropped (overscan). The correct setting on the MacBook Pro when connecting to an HDTV is Overscan (checked). If your TV screen has a native physical 1080 rows of pixels (vertical resolution), the entire image should fit on the screen with no cropping or scaling. I did notice that the TV (Westinghouse VR-3223) did have a menu option to enable overscan. In my case, I want overscan turned *on* on the computer and *off* on the TV, which were the default settings in both cases.
* I did notice a small amount of horizontal color resampling (rainbowing) at the pixel level. This is either being done by the TV or some RGB-to-YUV conversion along the way. (That is par for the course for video signals anyway). But other that that it is pixel-perfect, and more than good enough for 1080p HD viewing, and not noticeable at all from normal viewing distances.
* I did have to set the computer to 60 Hz / NTSC, because it was on 50 Hz / PAL for some odd reason. (Maybe if most of your video is in PAL format you'd want to leave it on 50 Hz?)
* The box does report a handful of odd resolutions to the computer besides the usual 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p none of these showed a picture at all on my TV. It probably depends on your TV and what input resolutions it will support. But 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p all worked fine for me.
* I suspect that the 1080p mode and maybe the 1080i mode *will not work* if your TV is not native 1080p (most 32" TVs are 720p). But this, again, probably depends on your TV.
* I did use a dual-link DVI cable when testing 1080p. I don't know if a single-link cable would work to or not I didn't have one handy.
PROS: All digital, sturdy metal housing, and not too bulky. But most importantly, VERY INEXPENSIVE. Wow. The closest stuff out there to this converter is like $200 and up.
CONS: None really. It is a bit of extra cabling to do things this way, but what is the alternative?
Other thoughts: Latency is just barely noticeable. It's a great product for home theater, but probably not for gaming. Your mileage may vary depending on the type of game (fast-paced games will have a slight lag that may render the game unplayable).
Plugged directly into my Sony TV, my MacBook Pro will display 1080p without hassle. Plugged into the converter box, it refuses to go above 1080i. Had to use SwitchResX to create a custom resolution (based on the dumped Sony EDID info) to enable 1080p through the converter box. So, Mac users, be prepared for a hassle if you're trying to run your TV at 1080p.
The alternative is to use a DVI to HDMI adapter/cable and a 3.5mm headphone to dual RCA Y cable (both from Monoprice, of course!), but then of course you forego the high quality digital audio over HDMI. It might be worth the trade-off for the low latency of a direct connection and hassle-free 1080p resolution.
Will still use this box for watching HD films from my notebook now that I have the custom resolution set up.
PROS: Awesome signal, I do not have any audio or video degredation what so ever!
CONS: I do wish the unit came with a way to wall mount the unit.
This unit is small and simple and does exactly what I need. Definitely an improvement for my A/V center!
PROS: Small form factor, does exactly what I expected
CONS: TOSLink port "grabby"
maybe it seems a little quickly put together, one day i'm destined to break it when pulling out the optical cable. but i was skeptical it would work as everything else was so much more expensive!
no noticable quality loss at all
CONS: seems a little flimsy, but shouldn't cause a serious problem unless it needs to undergo lots of beatings for some reason
The only drawback, if you're not happy with the plug type - and you won't if you aren't American! :-) - you' have to buy an adapter, as the plug itself is built into the AC transformer. Too bad they didn't use a cable-plug or just offered different adapters!
Anyway, excellent product, a must-have if you have connectors issues.
PROS: Good quality and excellent output signal, both HDMI and coaxial.
CONS: Requires an adapter if you're not using American-type plugs.
I use this to watch hulu from my mac mini on my 42 inch Samsung HDTV and junked my cable service entirely.
1) The head phone jack of the MAC contains both a normal head phone and and a special optical output. To make this work you need the DVI cable, a HDMI cable and the mini optical fibre to tso link cable "Toslink to Mini M/M OD:5.0mm, Molded Type - 3ft". Available for under $3 from this site.
2) I have been using this for a year and this works seemlessly... I wish the Mac better supported the 1080 format it is underscan or overscan. Never seems to want to support full frame, perhaps the mac is confused by the Samsung but I think not I noticed many people have the same complaint about getting the MAC to output 1080p or 1080i. My sister's Windows machine supports full frame 1080P on the HDMI connector on the video card. I think MAC messes with this beacuse they want us to buy an apple TV...
3) the optical output of the MAC Mini (or any of apple's computer aside from apple tv) is pass thru... if you put in a dvd the mac mini outouts the encoded format to the optical output.
AGAIN, the problems I had are most likely just a result of the usage and individual circumstances of my setup and I full well believe that this is a fine product and capable of doing just what it's advertised to do.