Cirago’s new USB 2.0 to HDMI Adapter ($60) seems almost too good to be true: it’s designed to connect your Mac to an HDMI display, outputting through the USB port instead of having to rely on Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt. And it doesn’t just carry video—audio comes along for the ride too. Updated! New photos and details have been added below the fold.
If one extra monitor isn’t enough for your needs, you can hook up four of the adapters to connect to four different displays. Cirago has confirmed that this works, though obviously graphics card limitations may well apply. You also have to supply your own HDMI cable, but the company includes an HDMI to DVI adapter in the box if you’re hooking up to an older display. Update August 30, 2011: We’ve tested the USB 2.0 to HDMI Adapter now with two different Macs, and there’s mixed news to share: when connected to a 720p television, each Mac’s top, left, and right sides of the screen were ever so slightly chopped off when performed through the Adapter. The cropping wouldn’t significantly impact a Mac’s ability to play back videos on an HDMI display, but it did cut the top-of-screen menu bar in two, as well as the left or right side dock if you have it there. But on a newer 1080p set, the Adapter operated either in 1920×1080 full-screen mode, or in a mirroring mode that presents the Mac’s screen in the center with black bars off to the sides. Notably, the USB 2.0 to HDMI Adapter requires installation of software drivers in order to work, but the process is relatively painless so long as you download the software from the DisplayLink website.