USB-C docks - Discussion


HDMI Alt Mode is quite new - it just got announced in September 2016, first usb-c chipset with HDMI Alt Mode support was announced at CES 2017, so it will take another year or two until HDMI Alt Mode will be on the market (out of niches).

Until then, you need an USB-C to HDMI adapter that converts the signals…
Btw. USB-C to DP and DP to HDMI will not work, as DP++ is not supported over DP Alt Mode.


Ok, so what are we looking at? A USB C to HDMI adapter that udes DP alt mode and then actively converts that to HDMI? What about those adapters that don’t use alt modes at all? Is there a standard for them, or are they all just random dongles with special drivers for each of them?

In other words, I would be interested in knowing the requirements for an adapter to work with V. “Why does this adapter work on a macbook but not on V?” is a very natural question that needs to be answered.



The spec sheet for the 2016 MacBook Pro mentions native DisplayPort support over the USB-C ports, but only mentions “VGA, HDMI, and Thunderbolt 2 output supported using adapters (sold separately)”… That shouldn’t be different from the TB3-port on the V…


The MacBook Pro uses the same DP Alt Mode as our V will use, so theoretically every adapter compatible with a macbook should work on the V.
For example this one should work:

Disclaimer: I haven’t tested this particular adapter and therefore can not guarantee that it will work.


What about creating a community driven list of all kind of 3rd Party adapters/devices that do work/do not work with the V?
Starting from charging with Anker PowerIQ technology to hdmi adapters to ethernet to eGPUs and maybe even GPS adapters. Just everything the Community has tried until now and does (not) work.
Having a confirmation from the Community would then also result in easy search for alternatives.


Well, I’ve bought a $5 adapter that should work with the macbook, and it didn’t work with my prototype. Maybe it was just a prototype problem? I guess I’ll try another one :smile:


And this Information should get documented.
I think the Community would get a huge list very fast with all the adapters they have laying around at home.


USB-C is really new and mostly only used in phones, so most people (apart from macbook users) have no adapters for it laying around :wink:

On the other hand, we can collect a lot of information from people who will buy some adapters for V specifically. For example me :smile:

But I think there should be a better approach than just collecting a hundred page book with the model numbers of working/not working adapters. There ought to be some things worth looking for, like “does it use DP alt mode”. I already know one rule: if it’s advertised for phones, especially if it says MHL, it won’t work. Of course, correct me if I’m wrong because I don’t know much about these USB-C thingies.

That said, making a list is a good start. Maybe we’ll see some patterns emerge.


Oh damn. I wanted to order a usb-c to mdp adapter and a mdp to hdmi, vga and dvi adapter, as that seems to be the cheapest way…
So that’s definitely not possible? :frowning:


Quote from the article of

This also means that since DP Alt Mode is such a complete implementation of DisplayPort, that DisplayPort conversion devices will work as well. DisplayPort to VGA, DVI, and even HDMI 2.0 adapters will all work at the end of Type-C connection, and the VESA will be strongly encouraging cable makers to develop Type-C to HDMI 2.0 cables (and only HDMI 2.0, no 1.4) to make Type-C ports usable with HDMI devices. In fact the only major DisplayPort feature that won’t work over a Type-C connector is Dual-Mode DisplayPort (aka DP++), which is responsible for enabling passive DisplayPort adapters. So while adapters work over Type-C, all of them will need to be active adapters.


Allow me to build on that.
Not just a list of devices that do work, but a list with 3 devices from each category: the cheapest, the (allegedly) most reliable one, an honorable mention.

This because there’s dozens of devices out there and maintaining a full list is just confusing. Focusing on a limited set of devices would keep the forum/documentation/shop tidy while providing useful information.


I’d suggest a “best bang for the buck” one… :slight_smile:


I think about having a huge list to search if this particular device will work and a “best of” with the best of each category and maybe specifications which should be considered and where problems can happen for example the hdmi specification which is confusing


After looking at bunch of these adapters, I found that I just want as simple and low-cost single adapter as possible, with support for HDMI (4k@30hz), dvi and vga. Single active port is enough. There seems to be options that match these requirements, but all of them have very short connector cable. Example adapter, which also has DP port: Ebay, details at Amazon.

Any prototype-testers wanna comment how these short-cabled adapters might feel like with the V? I’m thinking it’d be awkwardly positioned mid-air as the cable lengths are designed for laptop heights rather than 2-in-1 height ports.

Did I miss any adapter that would fit my cause? :smile: It looks like most adapters have extra usb-slots as well as ethernet and sd-card readers and what not to accommodate these single-usb port machines, but those are not very important with the V. Not to me anyway.


I think the shorter cable the better. I recently bought a USb hub with like 15cm cable, it’s annoying AF!! It’s better when it hangs in air than when the cable occupies half of my desk, trust me. It would be different if the cable was thin and flexible, but that’s not the case with USB 3.1…


Thanks for the comment.

I guess the stress from weight is balanced out by the monitor cable laying on the table? Perhaps I was just imagining the adapter alone in air without considering the connected cable playing its part.

edit: Or maybe I’ll just always balance the adapter on top of something like the carry bag or something to ease the strain :smile:


Nah, stress is not a problem. I’ve used thick VGA cables with my tablet’s 10cm adapter, no problem there… The only bad thing that can happen (realistically) is the adapter cable near the connector wearing out, but usually there’s some extra insulation there to prevent that.


That happened on the HDMI Cable of my companies Oculus Rift DK2 because it was under 90° stress the whole time and now it has a loose connection…


Then you can either replace the adapter or add some Sugru once it starts wearing out :stuck_out_tongue:


Got this for myself since I don’t have a 4K display at home but I have other Type-C devices. Very full featured, especially with that miniDisplayPort (@Miri ?) which should make Apple and Thunderbolt Display owners happy. Plus 60w worth of PowerDelivery should take care of the V if I’ve been reading those community threads correctly. I’d love to see this unit in TB3 trim so I can get 4K@60Hz on my work display, but perhaps that’s for a later date. crossing fingers I’m considering getting these for use at my office when we move to Type-C/TB3 laptops but running 4K @30Hz isn’t something I personally enjoy so it’s hard to recommend. Out of all the adapters I’ve seen, it’s the most comprehensive on ports and $$'s.