The Good Bridges the gap between 27-inch iMac and HDMI video components; simplifies set up by scaling video to match the iMac's 720p input limit, regardless of source setting; USB-powered, which minimizes cable clutter.
The Bad Won't input HDMI-equipped PC video to the iMac; no support for 2,550x1,440 native iMac resolution.
The Bottom Line Belkin's AV360 iMac adapter edges out the competition by making it easier to connect HDMI-based video components to your iMac's Mini DisplayPort. We'd prefer that Apple had gone with HDMI in the iMac to begin with, but until it makes that switch, this is the adapter we'd pick.
Belkin AV360 Mini-DisplayPort converter for 27-inch iMac
We can't get too excited about an adapter, but Belkin's AV360, a device that bridges the gap between a 27-inch iMac and your HDMI-based video components, has stirred our enthusiasm by meaningfully differentiating itself from its competition. The key trick of the Belkin AV360 lies in its ease-of-use. It requires less fiddling than the competing Kanex XD. It also plays better with HDMI switchers, a task that gave the Kanex model trouble. Throw in the fact that the Belkin AV360 and the Kanex XD each have a list price of $150 and our decision is easy. If you own a 27-inch iMac, and you want to pump in your cable box, your game console, or a Blu-ray player into the Mini DisplayPort input, the Belkin AV360 is the best device for the job.
We concede that these adapters will only appeal to a limited audience. Technically, they work with any display that has a Mini DisplayPort input, but their primary reason for being is to input home video components into the 27-inch iMac. It would have been far more convenient had Apple built an HDMI input into its largest iMac from the start. Perhaps the recent addition of HDMI to the Mac Mini offers hope for the next iMac update. For now, annoyingly, you'll need a specialized Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter that can convert an input signal. A standard, inexpensive Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI output adapter won't do the job.
The Belkin AV360 is actually significantly larger than the Kanex XD. The Belkin model measures 0.875 inch high, 6.25 inches wide, and 3.375 inches deep. That's nearly three times the width of the Kanex XD. We suspect the Belkin's extra size has to do with extra internal components that provide important differences between the two adapters.
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