back to article Apple Digital AV Adapter

It’s not often that a mere cable merits a review of its own, but the Digital AV Adapter that Apple recently launched along with the new iPad 2 is worth a closer look. Apple Digital AV Adapter HDMI ready: Apple's Digital AV Adapter The cable plugs into the dock connector on the base of the iPad 2, and is also compatible …

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  1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
    WTF?

    Pandering fail

    "It’s not often that a mere cable merits a review of its own" Indeed.

    Actually come to think of it, my new HP laptop came with a power lead. Review please. It's very good, I'd give it more than 80%. It works with ALL applications, and never says "I'm not going to charge from this socket". Oh, and I didn't have to buy it separately!

    (However my wife's new iPod does say that it cannot charge from this accessory when plugged into our HiFi iPod dock, or plugged into the laptop using the Apple supplied iPod lead - FAIL 10%)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    3 Pages for a cable !

    WTF, it's a HDMI cable, and an expensive one at that. Must have been a slow news day. Review could have been a bit shorter... it works.

  3. DrXym Silver badge

    The iPad 2 only supports 720p video?

    That seems weird to be honest. It has a faster dual core CPU which one would hope gives it the kick to do 1080p output. Apple TV devices which have been hacked to run XBMC can output 1080p so I would expect the power is there.

    On a general point, anyone thinking of using a tablet with a a keyboard, or output video, or to transfer pictures or anything else should take note of how much all these peripherals cost. £35 for an HDMI cable. £25 for a camera connector. £56 for a keyboard. There is something to be said for a device which uses standard connectors, be they mini-HDMI, mini-SD, USB etc. It's basically saving you £100+ down the road.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      1080p

      'Apple TV devices which have been hacked to run XBMC can output 1080p so I would expect the power is there.'

      As far as I'm aware this is only true for the mk1 Apple Tv, and only if you remove the wifi card and put in a hardware decoder. The Mk2 uses the Apple API for decoding video (like other IOS devices) and only outputs 720p. I believe someone has managed to output 1080p on a mk2, but not at a decent frame rate yet.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        According to the XBMC faq

        The iOS FAQ for XBMC says Apple TV 2 can output 1080p although it does say anything larger than 1920x800 can suffer hiccups. What I guess this means in practice is if you have full frame 1920x1080 video (i.e. 16:9) you might get stuttering. If you have a movie presented at 2.21:1 and you cropped the movie when you were making it (i.e. didn't encode the black bars into the image) you may not. It also suggests the 1080p might then be downscaled to 720p which is pretty stupid.

        http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=XBMC_for_iOS_specific_FAQ

        It's kind of sad that Apple devices are so limited. I remember slagging off the original Apple TV for being hobbled with 720p and would have thought things would improve. You can buy any number of media playback devices these days starting for as little as €70 that do 1080p playback without any issue at all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Interesting.

          This must be a new development, I was looking at the ATV2 as a potential media player recently but was dubious because it wouldn't do 1080p.

          It might seem silly, but given how great xbmc is, i'd much rather lower resolution and xbmc in comparison to some cheaper alternative that will do 1080p. The beauty of xbmc is that it will play literally anything. And it has little bells and whistles that make it brilliant (eg native samba support so you don't have to dick about with dlna).

          Also, 720p for movies is actually pretty decent quality still. I found there was a small amount of macroblocking but it still looked better than brodcast hdtv. That said if you compare a bbc hd studio broadcast to a hd film-scan then the difference is phenomenal. People seem to forget it's not all about pixels.

    2. Gulfie
      FAIL

      Re: 720p

      That's the yanks for you. 450 lines on analogue compared to our 625, 720p "hi-def" compared to 1080p, it's their standard. Next version of iPad will do 1080p, as will next version of AppleTV. It'll be the next must-have upgrade...

      1. Michael C

        current version support

        The A5 does do 1080p, the SOFTWARE ON IT does not yet. This is a limit imposed by licensing (mostly), since Apple, not any streaming video app for the platform, yet supports 1080p, so why shoudl the video player API... Games coming out will use 1080p, just not the video app, not until Apple, Netflix, or some other big player has an iPad app and online available 1080p streaming legally licensed MPAA content. Anything less is an admission by apple they know you have pirate wares and they're OK with that. As a licensee themselves (and barely holding onto that status at this price point) they're pupets of the MPAA. Put you blame where it should lie.

    3. Michael C

      device vs apps

      The iPad does supprot 1080p, and when mirroring the image is unscaled to 1080v lines (just in 4:3 format). It is the Video API that is currently limited to 720p. Why you ask? because big content asked for it to be until such a time as apple actually licenses and distributes 1080p content, or until netflic or another major online provider doers. With no native (legal) 1080p content, enabling 1080p output is basically an admission by apple they know you're using pirated wares (since we all know the count of people with 1080p home video and yet have the inability to get it on their TV is very small).

  4. Tony Barnes
    Thumb Down

    £35...??

    'You could argue that an expensive gadget like the iPad should have HDMI as standard – but it doesn’t and that’s that.'

    Erm, alternatively, you could mark it down for being a complete rip off?? £35 for what, £1 worth of manufactured cost cable?

    I hook my Advent Vega up to my TV with a 3m flat HDMI cable that cost me all of a fiver.

    £35 for a crappy cable is not value in any world I am aware of - 80% is absurdly generous given the price IMO, and that all it does is connect your iPad to your TV as expected, oh, except for when it doesn't work...

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Saw HDMI cables for €2

      My local Euroland (in Ireland) was selling 6ft HDMI 1.3 cables for €2. I bought one and it worked as advertised.

      I expect some tablets will only offer mini-HDMI outputs. If an adapter doesn't come in the box, they can be had for a fiver, or a dedicated cable for not much more.

    2. Michael C

      1st vs 3rd party

      Apple has numerous 3rd party accessory partners. They ALWAYS price their first party parts high such to give the 3rd partys room to undercut them. If they put the price troo low, there woudl not be a secondary marekt, and then the argument of Apple being the only one making all this proprietary crap would actually be true.

      There are already $7 HDMi adapters available for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4... There will be $14 magnetic lids soon too I'm sure (fewer people saw that coming and are a bit slow to react...)

  5. Bruce 3
    Troll

    £35 for a cable.

    At no point should this ever be deemed acceptable. By reviewing this product you are only helping to maintain this practise and support Apple and other OEM's in ripping off the end user. This assembly is manufactured for $5 tops, giving Apple a margin that would make Heroin delears green with envy. At some point in the process fo becoming a fanboi i would suggest that your common sense fell out of your ear.

    Gonk because Muppet Icon is not available.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Happy

      Stuff 'em, if they're that stupid!

      "support Apple and other OEM's in ripping off the end user"?

      Well no one takes these people down the shops at gun-point and forces them to buy these things at these stupid prices. Sod it, if I could make a living pulling in 35 sovs for a 2 quid cable I'd be in there like a shot! If these Wally's can't be bothered to have a poke about on Amazon or eBay at the very least, then they derserve to get fleeced!

      "A fool and his money..." as the old one goes!

      1. Ammaross Danan
        Jobs Horns

        Buy-in

        "Well no one takes these people down the shops at gun-point and forces them to buy these things at these stupid prices."

        Actually, if you consider they're (at the cheapest) $500 into the platform, if they wanted the "extra" features, such as HDMI, they either have to change platforms or shell out for the adapters. Another $50 is small compared to a shift to something like the Xoom. Hence, they're literally being forced to buy these magical addons to get the functionality out of their iDevice. Granted, they could simply just live without such features. The sad thing is, no one seems to care what the down-the-road costs of their devices will be.

        New marketing idea for Android tablets:

        Cost of iPad2: $500

        Cost of our tablet: $450

        Cost to made the iPad2 able to do the things WE can out of the box....hook up to a set of speakers or connect to your car stereo, play 1080p (impossible, but still...) across HDMI to your TV, connect to your digital camera, work as a mass storage device or read an SD Card: $XXX.

        True cost of the iPad2: $700 (we'll call it an even $200 for the adapters)

        Our tablet: Still $450. (plus a fiver for your HDMI cable).

      2. Michael C

        Yup

        Keep in mind, Apple has to develop the part internally. Then they license the API out and 3rd parties make the stuff. Apple doesn't WANT to make this stuff, they want the 3rd parties doing it, but they can't very well have a 3rd party on the inside during development as that leads to leaks, and they have to have an adapter out day 1 somehow, and that means1st party. Little gets the 3rd party guys jumping faster than to release a proprietary part at a high price and then they go "shit, i could make that for $5, and if I do, and I'm first to sell it, i could sell it for $30 vs their $40 and make a killing." and then 15 guys all release parts a few weeks later and drive the price down to about $15, and some knockoffs sell through mono-price for $6.

        Is it really hard to see the logic in this model?

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge
      Badgers

      Expensive

      It's not just an HDMI cable, it has a special Apple DRM chip so that any other company that wants to make such a cable will have to pay Apple more then the product costs to make.

      So it's totaly worth it (if your Steve Jobs).

  6. Spartacus
    Alert

    Accseories...

    £35 for a tv adaptor

    £35 for a memory card adapter

    £19 for a condom

    £39 for a leather jacket

    £30 for a charger

    £49 for a keboard

    So how much does an iPad actually cost?

  7. EddieD

    +1

    Apple rip folk off on video connectors. It's a fact of life. I have a box containing 9 different adaptors for connecting various MacBooks to external displays for visiting speakers (who refuse to pay the Apple after sales tax). I'm missing about 6 or 7 for the complete set, so some folk have a problem.

    Oddly, my HP desktop, which has a video card which has 2 HDMI outputs came with 2 HDMI-DVI connectors. At no extra cost.

    Similarly the Dells.

    Giving an 80% rating for something that should be supplied as standard, or at most be a fiver, is a complete joke.

  8. Joey
    FAIL

    Doesn't work with iPhone

    Although this device is supposed to work with an iPhone 4 (with appropriate apps), I can get absolutely nothing out of it through my Bravia TV or Acer projector. Messages on Apple discussion board show that there are other people having the same problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You forgot the mouse

      You seem a perfect candidate for a job at Dell.

    2. cliff 2

      Doesn't Work With iPhone

      I had no trouble at all using the cable with an iPhone 4. I didn't have a Bravia TV or Acer projector, so can't comment on those models, but it did work with a Samsung TV, and HDMI monitors from a number of other companies. The photos in the review were taken on an LG monitor, for instance.

      I also agree with the many companies stating that £35 for a cable is way over the top - but Apple isn't the only company that charges disgraceful prices for accessories. I'm still saving up to take out a mortgage for a replacement battery for my Sony Vaio laptop...

      1. Glenns
        Jobs Horns

        Apple overpriced ..again

        I guess your looking in the wrong places, I just got a spare battery for my Vaio VGN-FW21M, cost me less than £50 and has a damm sight more value than a little cable.

        £35 for something that should be included is a disgrace, but hey that's Apple for you.

        1. RichyS
          Grenade

          @Glennys

          Yeah, but you still end up with a shitty bloatware infested Vaio at the end of the day...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Glenns

          There's no way you got a Sony branded battery for £50 unless it fell out of the back of a truck.

          Third party batteries maybe, but we're talking about brand items here. I'm sure the HDMI adapters from third parties will be cheaper.

        3. Michael C

          really?

          a) they don't include it becasue that would eliminate many of their 3rd party accessory makers.

          b) if no one made it, it really would be a proprietary PoS connector

          c) its not included because very few people use it.

          Apple HAS included a number of optional connectors in the mast, most notably mini-DVI connectors. They ALLWAYS price up new connectors, to drive others to release that part, and hopefully for those makers to try to convince OTHER companies to ALSO use those parts, making the connector more universal. They did that successfully with both USB and Fire-wire, and now display-port is getting a lot of draw, and I expect Thunderbolt next. the 30pin connector was kind of a solution to a problem at the time, but now so many things use it, they don;t want to break compatibility and abandon it, which I personally appreciate. If an iPhone 5 or a new iPod doesn't work in my shop radio I'll be VERY upset...

    3. RichyS
      Grenade

      Or...

      Spend £200 on a crappy no brand Android tablet.

      Realise it's crappy.

      Spend £400 on an iPad and wish you hadn't wasted your time buying cheap crap.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Troll

        @ RichyS

        So what does the 'S' in your username stand for? My bet is that it's 'Singlebraincell'.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        @RichyS

        Or spent £240 on cheap Android tablet (Archos101) and find it already has a dedicated Mini HDMI socket wich works fine with the same mini HDMI to full sized HDMI adapter that came free with my standard HDMI equiped Nokia phone.

        1. Michael C

          WTF?

          how is needing a miniHDMI -> HDMI adapter any f*ing different than needing a 30-pin connector -> HDMI adapter? Either way you have to carry it with you. In the iPhone's case, with AirPlay, it should rarely be needed. Can your nokia wirelessly play 720p or better to a TV with one click and no manual setup? Oh, right...

          Your nokia phone is a rare breed having come with that adapter. I've had 9 different phones in my hand, and several laptops, all with mini HDMI ports, and not a single one came with the adapter.

          As for laptops, i DO NOT WANT HDMI ON IT, I buy laptops with GPUs, and GPS do 1200 or better output and support more than 1 screen at that resolution. WFT would I want to be limited to a single 1080p external display when i can have up to 2 and 1600 or 4 at 1200? especially when a $3 adapter gives me HDMI but nothing can convert HDMI to higher resolution DP...

          HDMI is a living room only tech. DP is a DISPLAY tech. The latter is superior in every way and is easily converted, IT shoudl be the defacto standard on anything that might every be connected to something Ootehr than a TV.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            RE:WTF?

            "how is needing a miniHDMI -> HDMI adapter any f*ing different than needing a 30-pin connector -> HDMI adapter?"

            I think the point there is that mini HDMI is a standard that is supported across devices from many different manufacturers, and if your TV had the appropriate mini port a standard mini HDMI cable would also work. Whereas the 30-pin connector is an Apple proprietary standard designed to lock you in and wring as much money as it can out of you.

            Apple patent their proprietary connectors (They just applied for a new patent for a combined connector according to Eengadet) so the 'after market' players all need to pay Apple royalties to create their ‘cheaper’ alternatives.

            Personally I don't know much about Apples proprietary Airplay system, but I assume you need an Apple TV box to use it with a TV. However my particular Nokia has an app that can use the DNLA standard to stream media to any other vendors DNLA device.

            As for Display Port, that Apple patent I mentioned is to wrap that and USB3 into another proprietary connector. (Any bets on how much extra they will charge for that?)

    4. Michael C
      Thumb Down

      same can be said for almost ANY product

      First and foremost,

      A)Apple develops these new parts internally, so the design can be a secret until release (no leaks). At that point, they could care less about the adapter, they want to encourage the accessory market in general, so they price high as to not piss off partners. Buy an accessory from Dell or HP it;s the same game.

      B) if you paid MSRP, who's the dumb ass?

      Your laptop may have an HDMI connector, but I'm sure it also has a GPU capable of more than 1080p too, and that's completely useless without a DP connector (which requires a measly $3 adapter to output to HDMI if you shop around).

      SD card? Go Eye-Fi or use the cloud or a file sharing app, cards are so last decade. Also, what can you actually use one for? Not much when you have an encrypted file system, and nothing the cloud or apps can't do. The card slot and it's ability to mount some USB thumb drives (with an adapter) on your android is one of the thing preventing it from passing security muster and thus is keeping Android banned from banking, medical, government, and more uses. lol. You're most requested feature might kill android just how MS booted apple from Gov't and nearly killed them. Since 90% of people don;t need it, and because including it incurrs a royalty, creates a weak point in the chassis, and since SD is not a hermetically sealed port, it is left as an option for the few who insist they need it. BFD.

      Laptop cases are free? other tablets come with one? I've seen clear screen protectors for tablets that are $20, and you're complaining about $30 for a magnetic locking, folding, good looking, cover/stand/cleaner?

      that's cheap for a leather cover, most full leather cases a quite a bit more (if they're real leather and have good build quality).

      The charger is $10 if you go to Target or Amazon, not $40 and it comes wWITH one of those, and a cable that charges every apple device since the first iPod with that connector 10 years ago. It also charges off most USB ports which even some new smartphones and no tablet other than Apple's can do. That said, what do you pay for other phone chargers, car adapters, etc? Every one on BBY.com apple.com, and target.com aside from a few no-name knock-offs is $30. that's the normal price, and why the EU finally insisted on a universal system going forward (which apple signed on to and promises no adapter required, not that they didn't already have a system universal across their entire line for the last 10 years)

      I got a BT keyboard for $19 last year. Where do you shop??? Don't go there again...

    5. Michael C

      Sony

      Sony, especialyl the bravia series, have had numerous issues and support cases related to a poor implementation of HDCP and some HDMI handshake protocols in their TVs. Often when there's a new HDMI anything, Sony systems come up first in the complaints. They have layered some proprietary sony-to-sony control protocol on top of HDMI allowing one device to control another, but without using the actual HDMI specs for such a thing, and this causes major issues with any device supproting more than just the basic video feed protocols.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder

    if the whole purpose of this review was to bring out the:

    "£35 is unacceptable for a cable [branded adapters for everything are expensive, hardly a new concept] "

    "I can plug my Vega in for a fiver [but with so badly implemented HDMI it doesn't even work with Sony TVs]"

    trolls. If so well done El Reg.

    The only thing I can add is I like how Apple has apparently not used the HDMI logo on the adapter as required for reduced HDMI licensing fees. I wonder if they're paying the $0.14 (instead of $0.04) on every adapter because of it.

    1. Tony Barnes

      Can't comment on the Sony aspect...

      ..but it works perfectly with my Toshiba, crappy Bush in the bedroom, and my mums fancy pants Philips.

      The point is that this was one of the 'magical' new features that was being touted. Customers are being bent over to take advantage of this.

      Interesting point on the HDMI licensing, that extra $0.10 needs clawing back somehow I guess...

  10. rickykemp
    WTF?

    Erm.... Apple Sales Tax Strikes Again?

    I have a budget Android Tablet which has total access to any game in the market, not to mention emulators etc.

    It has a Mini-HDMI port, and outputs to numerous qualities including full 1080p to whatever HDMI monitor I want to hook up my Tablet to via the £1 mini HDMI adapter and £3 HDMI cable. (Oh, and i can still charge it via USB or mains adapter, if I like. And hook up my USB keyboard for Sonic goodness).

    HOW ON EARTH DOES THAT COST £35?!

    Surely El Reg needs to start adding a Value For Money rating to their overall scores. No way that something which does less than something else for much more money should be given any sort of positive spin.

    To think, I once seriously considered an iPad. If only I had endless wads of cash for basic functionality.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Tony Barnes

      Idiot number two

      Go on, I'll bite - read what I posted (and ironically what you quoted) '£1 worth of manufactured cost' - i.e. the cost to manufacture, not to sell, so no need for the Apple profit (think I'll quote you here) - idiot.

      With regards to the HDMI chip - presumably what you are saying is that the HDCP aspect of things isn't controlled by the iPad itself, but the control cable? If so, that means said cable has a chip in it to push the price up? If so, fair play, I hadn't considered that, as it wasn't hugely apparent - a quick look about would indicate a cost of $2.60 (http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/iSuppli-Teardown-Reveals-Apple-TV-Inner-iPad.aspx - Apple TV costs, probably higher than that of the iPad connector here, given that it seems to have additional functions) - so I guess that could push the total cost up to maybe £3-4?

      Yep, you're right, £35 = bargain.....

      As for 'To Apple's credit they decided not to foist a HDMI chip and license into each and every iPad increasing they number of whining anti-apple idiots who would then complain about the iPad's increased price.' - no, I think they've actually just come up with a way of making something backwards compatible with the old tech, rather than making the new tech better in the first place.

      Apple doesn't give me any of those things - I love Apple products, just typically can't afford them. This kind of absurd pricing for something I had actually presumed came as standard/free with the new iPad2 (no doubt making me an idiot I guess) underlines my point massively!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Idiot number two

        There is more to HDMI/HDCP than just chip costs (and those iSuppli numbers are low btw).

        There's licensing as well, to both HDMI and HDCP (separate organisations), and let's not even get into patents.

        There also retail markup on that, let's be fair which retailer (not Apple, I'm talking about things like Tesco, Amazon etc) doesn't expect at least a 50% profit margin on accessories? Then there's 20% tax (maybe duty too)

        So no Apple is not getting all that amazing fortune of £35 to itself.

        1. Tony Barnes
          Jobs Horns

          @ AC

          Again, I was still talking manufacture cost, not sure how this is confusing?

          Regarding the pricing, I'm going to side with the guy from China ;)

          At the end of the day, they are charging very close to 10% of the RRP of the base iPad2 model so you can use it with your TV - one of the new big touted new features. That is simply not on. If you think it is a fair price, you are either off your rocker, or Steve Jobs trolling...

          As per others - they have driven the iPad to a good base price, but then get you to shell out the same again in bits and bats that most users will want. More should come in that first box really

    2. Bruce 3
      Grenade

      Speaking as Idiot 3

      I am a cable manufacturer, and specifically a China based, OEM supplier or Video cables and adapters.

      When i said $5 tops it wasn't a figure i plucked out of either the air or my arse.

      That pie you are eating, humble enough for ya?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Bruce 3

        You should be pleased then, Apple just raised the bar on prices you can charge! Why are you complaining?

        Hope you're having a nice time in China btw, whereabouts are you in?

        1. Bruce 3
          Pint

          If Only

          Apple may charge you £35 notes, it doesnt mean they pay cent one over the going rate, couple that with the fact that their cluster last year at Foxconn has put the labour rates in the delta up by 35% (and no it is no acceptable to try and pass that on to the OEM's) and it does hurt a little to see what they think is fair value and how they all bitch when we try and increase unit prices because copper is going through the roof. They are all as bad as one another, when i am home i regularly get asked to leave electronics superstores when i interrupt them trying to sell some poor schmuck a £50 Monster HDMI or what have you, if Apple think their fanbois will stand it good luck to them, but when the Reg reviews something like this a line sir, has been crossed.

          I feel better for that.

          Heng Li Town, in lovely DG. Come for the smog, stay for the culture. Beer because i need one.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      HDMI licence fees

      "To Apple's credit they decided not to foist a HDMI chip and license into each and every iPad increasing they number of whining anti-apple idiots who would then complain about the iPad's increased price."

      Virtually every tablet owner will want to do one or more of the following at some point

      a) Get photos off their camera onto the tablet

      b) Transfer movies / music / files from their computer

      c) Plug in a keyboard

      d) Transfer files to / from a USB stick or SD card or storage device

      e) Output video to a screen

      f) Charge their device from a computer

      Pretending that Apple are doing you a favour by limiting the ability to do any of these things without one of their proprietary connectors or cables sold at a massive markup is utterly absurd.

      Enabling a device with a USB, HDMI, and SD slot probably adds a crushing $1-2 to the cost of a device in terms of license and parts. Funnily enough many tablets manage to soak up this cost and still undercut an iPad.

    4. Glenns
      FAIL

      Psychological projection

      I work in manufacturing items specifically like this and I can tell you that the £1 mentioned by another commenter is very close to the real cost of this item.

      You just seem to be desperate to justifying Apple's failings by accusing others of being idiots.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like the ad

    iPad VGA adapter... £25

    iPad HDMI adapter... £35

    Android tablet VGA adapter... Priceless.

    There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's [insert favourite financial instrument here].

  13. Ian Ferguson
    Pint

    If you don't like the price...

    ...then don't buy Apple.

    As the reviewer says, "You could argue that an expensive gadget like the iPad should have HDMI as standard – but it doesn’t and that’s that."

    How about we all agree that Android fanbois read Android accessory reviews, save money and fiddle with their tablets' techie settings all they like; and Apple fanbois read Apple accessory reviews, pay extra and enjoy the 'just-works' functionality? There's really no need for either camp to descend into neolithic 'my tribe is better than your tribe' bashing.

    Beer, as it's the nearest icon to a peace sign.

    1. Annihilator
      Happy

      Peace

      "How about we all agree that Android fanbois read Android accessory reviews, save money and fiddle with their tablets' techie settings all they like; and Apple fanbois read Apple accessory reviews, pay extra and enjoy the 'just-works' functionality?"

      Maybe, and then we can wrap each camp in cotton wool and protect them from any suggestion that their device is flawed or could be improved on. I like the idea of removing the flamewars (my view - both are good and both have flaws), but criticisms and active discussions lead to improvements most of the time. :-)

    2. stucs201
      Jobs Horns

      the 'just-works' functionality

      What 'just works' about having to buy a £35 quid cable to let you plug in an HDMI cable? Having an HDMI port included on the device is the 'just works' solution to connecting to an external display.

  14. Rolf Howarth

    What do manufacturing costs have to do with it?

    "£35 for what, £1 worth of manufactured cost cable?"

    Seriously, why is the cost of manufacturing relevant? What you're paying for is the engineering effort of providing the feature in iOS, ie. separate video out or mirroring, testing it against different makes of TV, etc., not just the physical cable.

    It should hardly come as a surprise that the cost of something is based on what value it adds to customer and what they're willing to pay, plus all the engineering and distribution and support costs, not just on the price of the raw materials. You only have to look at software to see that. What relationship does the cost of Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Suite have to do with the cost of duplicating a DVD??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      So that's £35 quid of value provided by rivals?

      If this functionality is truly worth £35, then that's £35 of extra value provided by every manufacturer who just puts the standard cable connecter on the device. Well, let's call it an even £50 because you can't lose it or leave it at home when you need it. (The other commenters above don't seem to have noticed that it's not even an HDMI cable, it's just an adaptor, you still need an actual HDMI cable to get a picture on your telly).

      Either way it's a rip-off, do it this way though and you'll have starstruck bloggers claiming that Apple's magical supply-chain means they can't be beat on price or value and that feature list items like HDMI output don't matter to anyone but the spec obsessed.

      (Unrelated rant: do you realise that to buy a 15 inch laptop from Apple starts at £1,500, while rivals start at about a fifth(!) of that. Yes, they're not as beefy in the spec department, but why link the screen size to the computing power so tightly? No wonder Apple fans are flocking to the iPad, their favourite manufacture has got a giant hole to fill at the low end of the market.)

  15. Richard 12 Silver badge
    FAIL

    You all missed the fail here!

    “This display is not authorized to play protected content”

    That's the abject fail.

    Why the hell does my display have to be authorised to show the video that I paid for? I paid for it, why can't I watch it?

    If I *hadn't* paid for the video it would have worked everywhere, so all this actually achieves is to encourage unauthorised copying of 'protected' works.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "error message could be dismissed by [replugging] the cable"

      TBH that seems like a small random bug and like the reviewer said it cleared up by replugging the cable. Hardly worth getting your feathers ruffled up.

      Maybe the review unit didn't even have iOS 4.3.1 which fixed some issues with HDMI cable? Certainly sounds like something that can be fixed.

    2. RichyS
      Stop

      Handshake

      Sounds like an issue with HDCP handshaking to me. HDCP handshaking is notoriously crappy (and annoys me each time I have to turn on my TV, Yamaha surround amp and Sky HD box on in the right order after the power to any one of them has been cut).

      Don't blame Apple for this. It's not their DRM messing with you, it's the idiot Studios forcing HDCP on any digital video connection.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Apple could have simply not implemented HDCP

        Only displays have to try to provide support for HDCP, sources are free not to bother 'protecting' the content with such a fundamentally-flawed concept.

        Do you really think the studios would refuse to sell their content via iTunes over that?

        Apple could have saved money and nobody outside of the studios would have ever cared - and quite likely, nobody would have even noticed! Instead they spend extra trying to implement it, getting it wrong (unsurprising as it's basically impossible to get right) and annoy their customers.

        I noticed that my Freesat HD digibox doesn't actually bother with HDCP. This makes for a better experience for me, and thus I've no reason to consider 'pirated' HD video. It does flag some HD recordings as 'don't copy to external USB', presumably to remind me not to.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    "How long before <this cable> wins the X-factor?"

    Charlie Brooker on the iPad2, and the HDMI cable (NSFW - contains swearing) :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmWnAE-SFeM

  17. Gulfie
    Thumb Down

    You want that cable?

    Ker-CHING. Thank you sir. Now, bend over for delivery...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    35 comments and growing for a single cable

    Mostly from people who don't even own an iPad.

  19. hi_robb
    FAIL

    A credible review?

    I think not..

    The reviewer admitted to carrying an episode of 'Glee' around with them FFS.

    They'd probably give a 80% rating to a piece of lettuce with a steaming turd on top. Though that particular item would still be better than the cheesy TV program for 10 year old's!

    Dave

  20. someone up north
    Thumb Up

    apple fool day

    just when you though April fool day is over,

    come this Apple fool day

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Nokia N8

    Comes with HDMI out as standard, I think includes the cable. And is cheaper than the iPhone.

    Internally the GPU does all the work running the display, the cameras, the HDMI, the 3D etc. Its all built in to one chip. I'm led to understand the iPad is the same - the GPU (not the same one as in the N8) does all the hard work, and its the same GPU in all iPads. So the cable is in fact just that, a cable, taking the already present HDMI signal available in the iPad and getting it to the display.

    £35 for a simple cable is a lot of cash, when a bog standard HDMI cable (effectively the same) cost £2

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Go watch a teardown or two

      I think investors in Silicon Image, Inc will disagree with you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @go watch a teardown or two

        Which teardown - the iPad or the N8? (I don't need to see one of the N8).

        You are going to have to explain a bit more.

      2. James Hughes 1

        @ac

        Silicon image provide HDMI out for the iPad - is the chip built in to the iPad? If so, the HDMI signal is already present in the iPad, and therefor this must just be a fancy cable.

        If not, then they must be translating some existing digital video signal in to HDMI in the cable itself.

        Which is an insane way of doing it (Why not just have HDMI out anyway) , unless you want to rip off your customers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          There is no direct HDMI from GPU chips

          The signal must always be "translated", usually by Silicon Image chips.

          It's likely there's one inside this adapter. Given that even clones of this cost around ~£25 it's very likely this isn't just a bunch of copper wire.

    2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      N8

      Yes, there is a Mini-HDMI to HDMI adaptor cable in the box with the N8.

      Works fine, and Nokia have a "media centre" application (Nokia Big Screen) to help you play your photo slideshows,music, or videos on the telly. You can even control it with a WiiMote or bluetooth mouse, if you have such things on hand. Also, if you've movies on a USB stick (or external hard disk), you can plug that into the phone too, and play the videos out to the TV..

      Honestly, as an iPad accessory, this has to be beyond stupid - you'll need a very long HDMI cable to keep using the iPad, or you'll need to leave it sitting right beside the TV. The dock position makes portrait use very fraught too.

      On the other hand, it makes great sense as an iPhone accessory: plonk your phone on the table next to the TV, tap to set up the movie, and start playing.

      My only concern is that Apple haven't improved the quality of these : the HDMI adaptor for my MacBook Air was so flimsy and poorly insulated that it frayed internally in such a way that it radiated in the WiFi bands, blocking the laptops own net connection...

  22. Joey

    Expensive

    Yes, the adaptor IS expensive. Tell me where I can get a cheaper alternative?

    When a white van driver whacked my wing mirror and cracked the glass, Toyota wanted over £120 to 'fix' it. They would only supply an entire wing mirror, which only comes primed, so it has to be sprayed to match. I eventually tracked down a replacement mirror glass for £5.50 on the web.

    I can't find a cheaper HDMI AV for the iPad/iPhone adaptor online.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Try DealExtreme

      They have some for ~ £25.

      Still doesn't make Apple's look very overpriced. Those are some really ugly things.

  23. Cyclist
    Jobs Horns

    So

    Ok, so it's furkin pricey for a simple adapter, but like the man says the iPad [and my iPod] doesn't have one fitted. So what to do about it?

    Well. You can either do what I did which is to point out to the Apple Store people that £35 is criminal for that and I'd rather leave it on the shelf thanks very much you bunch of crooks, then leave without it;

    or

    You can do what I did which is to go back the following weekend and stump up the dosh for one as it's the only thing that'll do the job so tough.

    It's an Apple tax. Entirely voluntary, and at the end of it what's £35? They know this. We know it. We live with it and write comments on web-sites about it, but we still pay the money.

    Show me a company that sells things at manufacturer's cost + minimal markup. Most - all - manufacturers would dream of being able to load prices like Apple do. And they can because they've got the market share.

  24. Cyclist
    FAIL

    And

    Worth adding that when I plugged the adapter into my iPod nothing came up on the TV screen - I was expecting to see all my apps in 42" HD lit up like Blackpool in October. This review is worthwhile in that respect at least as I now know that it only sends video form the right apps down the cable. So worth El Reg's time to write it and mine to read it.

    Fail. On my part for not sussing what mirror might actually mean.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Display mirroring on iPad 1, iPhone 4 too

    I'm surprised this hasn't come up yet, but it seems the original iPad and iPhone 4 can use this adaptor for hdmi display mirroring too. Obviously it's not a feature Apple offer (they'd presumably rather you buy a new iPad 2 instead) but if your device is jailbroken it seems a single line change in a file is all that's needed to switch this on. I really hate functional pricing like this - I'd dearly love to be able to connect my original iPad to my tv, and it grates that Apple have chosen to force me to buy an iPad 2 if I want to do this rather than let me use something of theirs I already own. I've never jailbroken anything before, but it's this kind of behaviour which sorely tempts me to try.

  26. JDX Gold badge

    Manufacturing cost isn't relevant

    But it's still an absurd price

    1. Cameron Colley

      You could just not buy Apple.

      This is another example of the tactics which make some of us steer away from Apple. Surely everyone who own an Apple product could see this coming?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        See what coming?

        Sorry I was too busy working on my Mac to read the other comments. A 60 comment thread about the cost of a cable? I'm not even going to bother.

        Clearly there are no big worries in the world.

        1. thecresta
          Troll

          Not that busy...

          But you found time to comment on the fact that you couldn't be bothered to read the other comments?

        2. Cameron Colley

          RE: "See what coming?"

          You must be a different AC, I quote for your convenience:

          "I'd dearly love to be able to connect my original iPad to my tv, and it grates that Apple have chosen to force me to buy an iPad 2 if I want to do this rather than let me use something of theirs I already own"

  27. thecresta
    Thumb Down

    Logic?

    If Apple were to release an iPad with a built-in HDMI port, would you review the HDMI port separately?

  28. Tom 38 Silver badge
    Go

    Saw it coming, don't care.

    If you buy an ipad (and I have, mk1), you know precisely what you are getting yourself in to - all the accessories are listed out there, right when you buy. You know a case will cost you £30, and if you want to stick an SD card in there, that's another £30 odd quid (funny, never needed that one).

    I'll probably not need this one either, since AirPlay was trivial to setup on Linux using freely available software, I can already beam stuff on to the big screen. Might be handy for traveling though.

    In one way, it's good these things aren't built in - you get a svelte tablet, light and thin, but then you need breakout cables with electronics built into them, which is pricey.

    Yes, you could 'save' yourself £200 by buying something like an Archos, or an Advent Vega (shudder). They are probably quite functional devices. Personally, I want it to look good as well as operate effectively, and my power as a consumer allows me to choose that.

    You also get to choose. Looks like a lot of people are just choosing to sling ad hominem attacks around, which says more about them than it does about Apple.

    Any successful company knows that the price of something has no relation to the cost of manufacture or development. The price of a thing is whatever the market will bear, and quite clearly, the market is bearing this.

    The poster complaining about ipods not charging from USB anymore, yep that has riled me a bit too. OK, so modern Apple batteries are better charged using a 10W adapter, rather than the 5W that a typical USB port can chuck out, but still, how about a trickle charge algorithm rather than a smug icon telling me its not charging. A cynic may say that's their way of saying 'buy a new mac', probably right.

  29. Tim

    DVI?

    Did you try plugging in an HDMI to DVI adapter (like Apple's own, that comes with the Mac Mini)? You mentioned perhaps delivering presentations from an ipad. A DVI cable would be useful for this. VGA works too of course, but DVI is pretty widespread now.

    For product demos, say, an ipad equipped with gotomypc or webex would make a back-friendly alternative to lugging around laptops to prospective customer's offices.

  30. Niels 2
    FAIL

    Apple design fail...

    Why would Apple produce this clunker of an adapter, that will be hanging off the iPad like a ball and chain?

    Retarded...

    this should be a long cabe, with the breakout box for charging and HDMI on the far end of the cable, so you can hide that shit behind your TV..

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Pass through adaptor

    And the obvious question is, what happens if you plug another HDMI adaptor into the pass-through port?

  32. Monkeigh
    FAIL

    You could argue...

    'You could argue that an expensive gadget like the iPad should have HDMI as standard – but it doesn’t and that’s that.'

    You could argue that they should have included this in the fucking box not charged an extra £35 for it.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Does it actually work?

    Let's hope people trying to use this are in no rush - takes about five minutes for a two year old Panasonic Plasma to actually notice it's there, requiring plenty of plugging, unplugging, changing input sources and TV channels before it finally kicks in, only for you to stand up, after faffing under the TV, and pull accidentally pull the cable out resulting in another five minutes of faffing.

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