The organization that controls the HDMI spec appears to be cracking down on unlicensed products. And its first significant victim is Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI cables, as the specification only permits HDMI connectors. In fact, Macrumors reports that Monoprice has already pulled their inventory… offering instead an adaptor/dongle.
As a Macbook Air owner intending to turn this 23″ television into an external display, I’m somewhat bummed that I hadn’t previously made a purchase. However, I expect cables to remain available via a variety of online storefronts - including ebay.
Of course, it’s worth reiterating that HDMI licensing and related specifications (including HDCP) are the factors preventing devices like the Slingbox from utilizing the more compact and lossless technology to capture video (along with audio). It’s not a technical limitation, it’s the terms. And why we spotlighted both the Gefen HD PVR and HDFury which had seemingly bypassed those requirements to enable recording over HDMI. Yet, unlike possibly misguided DRM attempts to limit piracy, attempting to remove the relatively harmless but oh-so-practical Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI cable from the marketplace emphasizes an overly restrictive and antiquated industry thought process. C’est la vie.