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Does DisplayPort carry sound as HDMI does? Specifically, I am looking at Lenovo Laptops T410 or T510.

I'm wondering if the spec permits for audio over DP and if possible if the Lenovo laptops I mentioped implement it.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 34 down vote accepted

Yes, the DisplayPort spec is an audio/video interconnect spec. It can carry both audio and video over a single connection. It is rare a laptop implements audio-out over a digital video interconnect. My MacBook Pros don't do it over their DisplayPort outputs, that's for sure.

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That is an important caveat. I think the lesson here is "The specs permit it, but it depends on manufacturer implementation". –  horatio Jan 4 '11 at 19:31
@horatio: perfectly put man. –  Ian C. Jan 4 '11 at 19:43
My Mid 2010 13" MacBook Pro does output audio from the Mini DisplayPort. The Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter must also support audio. –  Jim Huang Jan 4 '11 at 20:20
@Jim Huang: interesting. Must be the HDMI-DP adaptor I'm using. It's an early 2010 15" MBPro and a late 2010 13" MBPro I have here. –  Ian C. Jan 4 '11 at 21:03
As far as the specific machines in question, I believe Optimus enabled T-series machines are carrying audio over DisplayPort now. I haven't tried myself, though. (The other question is, of course, do you have something on the other end that will receive audio? Haha) –  Shinrai Jan 4 '11 at 21:04

I can do audio out on my MacBook Air when using a Thunderbolt-to-HDMI adapter. Thunderbolt is a combination of DisplayPort and PCIe and is the same formfactor as MiniDisplayPort. When using a DisplayPort cable (MiniDisplayPort receptacle on one end, fullsize on the other, I can only do video, System Preferences > Sound does not give me the option to output sound to my TV/Monitor (this is the same monitor that I can output sound to when using a HDMI adapter, a Dell 3008WFP).

From my testing it may technically be possible to do audio over the DisplayPort protocol, ports and cables, but on a MacBook Air 13 inch, Mid 2011 model it is not possible with DisplayPort - it is possible with HDMI (presumably it is using PCIe-to-HDMI and not translating DisplayPort-to-HDMI).

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I just got it to work on my macbook.. Just had to tell the MAc to send audio over Display Port vs headphone jack under settings > Sound > output.

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I also have Lenovo Thinkpad T410. Once you have a video playing, go to Control Panel, Sounds, Manage Audio Devices.

When you're in Manage Audio Devices, you'll see a list of devices and your TV speakers should be one of the options. Just choose it and set it as your default audio device and the sound should automatically come on the TV.

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Clipped from Wikipedia (buyer beware, but this type of technical information tends to be truthier). It looks like it can be used as a passive pass-through to HDMI with an adapter.

Relationship with HDMI


The DisplayPort website states that DisplayPort is expected to complement HDMI.[14] DisplayPort can emit HDMI video and audio using passive adapters connected to Dual-mode ports, and supports HDCP content protection used in the HDMI standard.


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