Monday, December 5, 2022

The right cable for my second monitor


I assumed one video cable would be just as good as another. That’s what I was thinking when I connected two monitors to my new M1 Mac Mini. 

I plugged my main monitor, a 32-inch curved Dell, into the Mini’s HDMI output and all was good. Then I connected a second monitor using the Mini’s USB-C port and all was not close to good.

The second monitor lit up, but only after nearly a full minute of blinking and struggling to make a connection. 

Must be a faulty cable, I thought, so I tried a couple of other HDMI cables. Same result. Then I bought a new HDMI to USB-C cable -- yes, a cheap one - and the monitor still had the jitters. 

At that point, I decided the problem must be in the monitor and I would just have to live with it. So I did, for more than a year.

Then I saw the TECHTOBOX cable and decided to try a cable that was advertised as being actually designed to handle high-speed 4K content. Now I have a secondary monitor that springs to life maybe two seconds after the main screen, and with no blinking or flashing. I also tried it with my MacBook Air and again got an instant display of a crisp, clear image that mirrored the built-in screen.

The cable appears to be well constructed with braided shielding, gold-plated connectors and metal tips with rubber protector sleeves. I don't know what's inside the cable that allows it to deliver a signal that doesn't cause my monitor to sputter and hiccup and, frankly, I don't care all that much. I'm just glad it works as advertised.  

And now that I have a second monitor that no longer acts like it’s about the die, I'm thinking of getting another one of these cables to use with my portable gear.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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