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ikon

Cautionary Note For Mini-Displayport Users

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ikon

Shortly after I got my SP I bought a 15' mini-DisplayPort to HDMI cable; not the Microsoft adapter, an iCAN cable.

 

The cable worked perfectly. I used it to connect my SP to my Sony Bravia TV, and to several other TVs as well. It worked fine on all of them.

 

A couple of months ago I had occasion to use it again. This time, it did not work. The image on the TV flashed and blinked and then went blank. I tried it on several TVs and a 30" UltraSharp monitor; all of them failed. I got 2 new cables; same result. I tried my wife's SP; same result.

 

Finally, I walked to a local retailer (after confirming online that they had one in stock) and bought a genuine Microsoft mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. I connected it to an HDMI cable I got from MonoPrice and voilà, it worked perfectly on all the devices that the 15' cable had failed on.

 

I am convinced that MS sent out an update that makes it so it's not possible to use a plain mini-DisplayPort to HDMI cable; that you have to use their own adapter. Whether or not they did, it doesn't matter; it only works when using their adapter. That's life...

 

Be aware: the MS adapter cannot connect directly to a regular HDMI port. It has a female HDMI connector intended to connect to a regular male to male HDMI cable.

 

Bottom line: if you want to connect your Surface Pro to an HDMI device, make sure you have both the MS adapter and an HDMI cable.

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TheJason

Can anybody else confirm this?  I'm away from home until next weekend, but happen to be near a MS store and could pick up a cable if this issue is happen to more people than just Ikon.

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SurfaceProArtist

I have the mini-Display port to HDMI adapter for the Surface Pro. I don't know about any special circuitry it may contain, but it fits more snugly with the SP due to its angled connector. The side of the SP is sloped and a flat connector will barely make contact. The HDMI side is indeed female, so an HDMI cable is required. I get all of my HDMI cables via Monoprice.com.  

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ikon

In case anyone is wondering, let me assure you that, in my case, it is not a situation of the plug not being able to get seated far enough into the mini-DisplayPort jack -- I cut approximately 1/8" of the plastic away from the plug so that there is a visible gap between the side of the SP and the plastic of the cable plug.

 

Also, remember, the cable did work earlier on. This is a case where something in an OS or firmware update has removed the ability to use a plain cable. Despite this, not doing updates is not an option so, even if MS did cripple the ability to use straight cables, it doesn't really matter; if their adapter cable is required, it's required.

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RMansfield

Reading this, I just plugged my SP into an Acer monitor using an Apple display port to VGA adapter that I originally bought for my MacBook Pro. All I can say is that it works fine. I've used it with this monitor as well as a projector a few weeks ago, and it's always worked fine. 

 

Now, I'm running the 8.1 Pro Preview (build 9431), so I don't know if this is a factor. 

 

If I had to guess, I think perhaps your initial adapter just went bad.

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TheJason

I got home this morning and plugged mine in.  No problems.  Still running Win8, with all updates.

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ikon

Plugged what in?

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RMansfield

I think he meant he plugged in his adapter. 

 

I don't think a firmware update has disabled third party adapters. I still think the adapter you have has gone bad. 

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ikon

Oops. let me clarify. My first cable was not an 'adapter' per se; it was just a cable, with a mini-DisplayPort connector at one end and HDMI at the other. It has zero circuitry inside. After I got the adapter cable, which I'm almost certain does have some circuitry in it, all the problems disappeared.

 

I was trying to find out from TheJason whether he plugged in an adapter or a plain cable.

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TheJason

Sorry, I wasn't so clear there, either (I'm blaming jetlag).  I connected my SurfacePro with the same mini-DisplayPort to HDMI cable (not adapter) you describe into my receiver and get an image on the screen and sound from my speakers.  The device is fully updated, including the most recent patch Tuesday updates.

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