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What we’ve been up to… Part 4 – Miscellaneous

New accessories will include a mini TOSLINK Optical Audio Cable.

We've had a number of requests for custom made accessories designed to work specifically with our docking station setup. A lesser known feature found on every MacBook is the support for fiber optic audio out. This feature allows users to hook their audio out into high end TVs and home theater systems with a mini-TOSLink cable via the headphone jack on the MacBook. The mini-TOSLink cable looks almost exactly like a standard 3.5mm stereo audio cable, but it carries audio digitally via fiber optic cables. This increases audio quality dramatically. Its a pretty clever design, obviating the need for another stand alone port. Henge Docks has been experimenting with prototype mini-TOSLink cables that are specifically designed for our docking system and plans to make these cables available individually as add on items.  The cables will also be backwards compatible to all existing Henge Docks units, so early adopters shouldn't be left out!

Optical audio out enabled with the new mini TOSLINK Cables.

Another request we've heard a lot is for custom Mini DisplayPort adapters.  Currently we recommend customers only use Apple supplied OEM Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapters, but those units can be problematic because of their short length.  The lack of space under the dock combined with the OEM adapter length can make for a tight fit.  To alleviate this problem Henge Docks will be producing their own line of Mini DisplayPort adapters that will allow for the female end of the adapter to be placed outside the dock body.  We will also offer an HDMI version of the adapter that will enable audio transmission over the HDMI connection since the newer MacBooks allow for audio output through the Mini DisplayPort. These adapters will also be available for purchase independently and will be backwards compatible will all existing Henge Docks units.

Henge Docks new Mini DisplayPort to DVI and HDMI adapter setup
Henge Docks new Mini DisplayPort to DVI and HDMI adapter setup.

Inventory tracking at the distributor and reseller lever in the form of UPC bar codes and SKUs is another issue we've had to tackle. Since we were initially only selling through our website we didn't have to worry about these issues, but as Henge Docks begin to find their way onto store shelves we had to make sure that all of our packaging was in compliance with various retail standards.  We began implementing new bar code UPCs on both the bulk packaging and individual retail boxes. We've also just received word that we have some new prototypes on the way that we will be able to show off in the next few days!


5 Comments

Marcus
Marcus

March 17, 2014

Thank you for considering a compatible mini toslink cable! Looking forward to when these become available!

Josuha
Josuha

March 17, 2014

I prefer to use a Mini Displayport – DVI for my monitor setup. It removes quite a bit of bulk by replacing the cable directly instead of having two cables connected together, essentially.

There are a lot of cheap ones on Amazon – here’s one for instance:

http://www.amazon.com/Mini-DisplayPort-Male-32AWG-Cable/dp/B0034X5BUE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=miscellaneous&qid=1279906594&sr=8-2

Jason
Jason

March 17, 2014

I just took a knife to my toslink cable with a mini end on it and took off the extra plastic sheathing halfway down and so just the right amount sticks out. Took about 10 minutes of sawing with my little Leatherman saw and it works great.

Jason
Jason

March 17, 2014

Mini Toslink cable can’t come soon enough. I bought the dock as per your video to replace my aging mack mini HTPC but not being able to use the optical cable makes the dock useless. Eagerly looking forward to it’s release!

Greg Moore
Greg Moore

March 17, 2014

Something else you guys might want to consider is the fact that the unibody macs actually use a four conductor 1/8" audio connector so you can use iPhone headsets with mic and controls on a single audio port (the headphone out.) If you include a four conductor cable that functionality will be preserved, and that would be sweeeet.

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