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OT - Somebody needs to make a Thunderbolt splitter / hub already!

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  • OT - Somebody needs to make a Thunderbolt splitter / hub already!

    Good grief, it's been well over a year already since Thunderbolt was released, and there isn't a single splitter on the market yet. Not one. Not even a decent hub or docking station. Not at any price - forget about "affordable."



    Why is this an issue? Let's assume you have a Macbook Air, and you want to use the Thunderbolt port to connect to your Mini DisplayPort equipped non-Apple monitor. No problem - with the right cable and adapter, it's as easy as plugging it in. But wait - let's also assume you want to use a Firewire audio interface or HDD with your Macbook Air. Sure... there's a $29 adapter that you can buy from Apple that will convert your Thunderbolt port into a Firewire 800 port. Here's the kicker - while Thunderbolt is more than fast enough to handle both at once, there's nothing on the market that will allow you to connect both devices simultaneously.



    Yes, Thunderbolt was designed for daisy chaining multiple devices, but unfortunately, some devices don't have dual ports to facilitate that. Take for example Avid's Pro Tools Native Thunderbolt, which only has a single Thunderbolt port. There won't be any daisy chaining of that to external Thunderbolt drive arrays or external monitors - not without a splitter or hub. At least not unless you want to buy one of Apple's ridiculously overpriced 27" Thunderbolt displays, which do have docking station capabilities (as well as a second Thunderbolt port) built-in. You can also still daisy chain, but not if any of the other devices that you want to use don't have dual Thunderbolt ports so you can stick the HD Native box at the very end of the chain - and again, that means using Apple's external Thunderbolt display if you want to use a second or larger screen with your laptop.



    Belkin's ExpressDock looks like a decent solution, but at an estimated $400 "street", it's not cheap... and it's still not available yet. Matrox has their est. $250 DS1 coming out, but while it will work as a docking station, it's less well suited for pro audio applications, since it only expands your system with a few USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, and a video out - there's no second Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining, and no Firewire.



    Come on peripheral companies - there's an obvious need here - fill it!
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

    - George Carlin

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  • #2
    **************** apple.
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    • #3






      Quote Originally Posted by Phil O'Keefe
      View Post

      At least not unless you want to buy one of Apple's ridiculously overpriced 27" Thunderbolt displays, which do have docking station capabilities (as well as a second Thunderbolt port) built-in.




      It isn't "ridiculously overpriced." The quality of the display is much higher than a $400 27" monitor. Plus, you have the ports and webcam built-in. The last time I tried to match it spec-wise, I came only about $100 cheaper (for the non-Thunderbolt apple display - as you point out, it is hard to match the Thunderbolt version spec-wise).



      ...just fighting the ignorance about apple prices, which when you really look at the quality aren't really much more.



      Oh, yeah, f'em.
      _______________________________________
      "Nothing but the best for my dog." - Frank Zappa

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      • #4
        thunderbolt is the one thing I'm really disappointed with on my MacBook. NOTHING uses thunderbolt it seems but monitors and a couple adapters, and I don't need Ethernet or FireWire so I have two ports taking up space that could have been used for USB. there are no available hubs, no prosumer audio interfaces, no thunderbolt to USB adapters (which is insane!), and a couple (literally) external HDs (which usually do allow daisy chaining), all of which are amazingly expensive. totally pointless to have, and I'm stuck having to use a USB hub to add one more thing rather than have four ports available.



        goddamn stupid.





        if I had the know how, I'd do a kickstarter to produce thunderbolt to USB adapters.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><div align="center"><font size="1">we could be dangerous: art, as a real threat</font></div></b></div>

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        • #5
          I'm still unclear as to what a Thunderbolt is, Philip.
          <div class="signaturecontainer">Love,<br><br>Dustin</div><br><br>http://peendubya.freeforums.org

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          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by guitardustin
            View Post

            I'm still unclear as to what a Thunderbolt is, Philip.




            http://www.apple.com/thunderbolt/



            It's a computer I/O, much like USB or Firewire... except it's more analogous to PCI-e in terms of speed. At 10Gbps bi-directionally, it's much, much faster than USB 2.0 or Firewire 800, and about four times as fast as USB 3.0. It's a big, fat, high-bandwidth pipe that IMO, is being tragically under-utilized.
            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment

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