When Apple announce their new ADC display connector technology at this past summeris MACWORLD Expo, the crowd gave a collective, "Huh?" Apple had gone away from proprietary video connectors with the adoption of SVGA ports in their Blue & White G3 machines. The new ADC connectors are neat, to be sure. They allow for video, USB, and power to travel through one cable, on connector. However, only the newest of Apple machines sport those ports. Also, users of older machines want to use the latest Apple displays are out of luck.
While none of the major players have come forth with any type of adapter to allows new and old connection standards to be compatible, one company is contemplating mass marketing such a connector. MacSpecialist has made a number of these connectors for personal clients, and depending on demand, is considering offering the product to the public at large. According to MacSpecialist:
So, you want to use a new (September 2000) 22" Apple Cinema Display? (LCD), 15" Apple Studio Display? (LCD) or 17" Apple Studio Display? (CRT) with your older Mac? Or you want to buy a new third party video card such as a 3dfx VooDoo?, ATi Radeon? (retail), or other Promax?, Formac?, et al, DVI or SVGA offerings for use with these displays? Well, Apple sure didnit do you any favors by using the new, proprietary Apple Display Connector (ADC).
Sure, itis nice, it combines signal, power and USB cables into one neat package, but it also puts Apple back into the iWe donit make that product for Macsi dark days once again. Unless you also own a new PowerMac G4? (Gigabit) or PowerMac G4 Cube?, the displays will not work without major (warranty-voiding) modifications. Only Formac makes a reference to an iADC Modulei for their ProFormance4 Video Accelerator, but we have yet to see this device available for purchase, and, from what we can tell, it will also require you to use the neighboring PCI slot. Two card slots for one ADC display? Not for us, thanks.
So, what can you do about it? It depends on how much money you want to spend. Itis possible to build an independent power supply and combination adapter that will feed the necessary 28 volts, USB, SVGA (analog) and DVI (digital) video signals into the new ADC cable; this would allow you to use any new Apple Display with ADC with virtually any new or old, standard SVGA or DVI connector without voiding your AppleCare? warranty.*
Obviously, you will still need a DVI-based video card to drive the 22" Cinema Display (LCD) or the 15" Studio Display (LCD), and, conversely, an SVGA-capable video card to run the 17" Studio Display (CRT), but at least you would have more options than you do currently.**
Weive been crossing our fingers, hoping that Belkin or Griffin would make these units for us, but both companies apparently feel there is no market for the device. When we set out to (successfully) build our own, and figured out how much it cost, we understood their decision. The fact remains, however, that a specialty market indeed exists for this item, as is proven by our clients paying us to do it now.
Our question to you is, are you part of a market that would make building these units in quantity worthwhile, and how much is it worth to you?
You can find more information, and offer your input, at the MacSpecialist web site.