Please help me get my new MacBook Pro projecting through the projector
January 1, 2009 2:20 PM   Subscribe

What do I need to look for in an HDMI switch that will enable my Mini-DisplayPort video signal to reach my projector?

I've just successfully connected the Mini-DisplayPort > DVI adapter > HDMI directly to the projector. I also tested an HDCP-crippled video through iTunes, and it didn't complain to me about the display not being HDCP-enabled, so that's a load off my mind.

However, when I pass the HDMI through my extremely generic 4-port switch from, I get nothing but a blank blue screen through the projector lamp. The laptop screen blinks gray for a second as if it were attempting to make a connection, but gives up.

Is it an HDMI version thing, do you think? What kind of specifics should I be looking for in a new switch?

Or is it maybe not the switch at all?
posted by bryanjbusch to Technology (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It sounds like your Monoprice-sourced switch isn't passing HDCP correctly. And, while I'm not certain of that fact, I can say that I too used to have a Monoprice-sourced switch and I had almost exactly the same issues when I first hooked up my Blu-ray player.

There're many other HDMI switches out there, of course, but one that I went with (have have been really pleased with) is Oppo's HD-31. It's a three-port switch which, admittedly, doesn't leave much room for expansion, but it's worked flawlessly for me.

What's even better is that it supports priority-based switching. What this means is that if the switch sees a signal on port 1, it'll use that, or if not, it'll check if there's a signal on port 2, and so on. This way, you can put, say, your Xbox or your Blu-ray player on ports 1 or 2 and your cable box (or another always-on device) on port 3. Then, whenever you turn on your Xbox or Blu-ray player, the switch will automagically switch to that input (and when you turn that device off, it'll switch back).
posted by Handcoding at 3:35 PM on January 1, 2009

Response by poster: If I understand it right, the FiOS DVR is passing through HDCP-"enhanced" signals when playing channels like HBO HD, and that's going through the switch with no trouble.
posted by bryanjbusch at 3:44 PM on January 1, 2009

Best answer:
If I understand it right, the FiOS DVR is passing through HDCP-"enhanced" signals when playing channels like HBO HD, and that's going through the switch with no trouble.
You would think so, and that would make sense, but I'm not sure that's necessarily the case. Back when I had the Monoprice switcher, I had my TiVo Series 3 hooked up to it and I too watched HBO HD without any problems; it was only when I hooked up my Blu-ray player that I ran into issues.

That led me to conclude that either the TiVo wasn't using HDCP after all or that maybe the old switch was a little loosy-goosy with the HDCP spec (and that the TiVo was okay with it but perhaps the Blu-ray player was more strict with that). Either way, things fixed themselves right up when I got the new switch :-/.
posted by Handcoding at 4:11 PM on January 1, 2009

(To be sure, I don't mean to disparage Monoprice or imply that all their switchers are wonky -- it's entirely plausible that their more recent switchers don't have these issues. And, either way, their cables are still great value.)
posted by Handcoding at 4:54 PM on January 1, 2009

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