How do I add video (and other) inputs to my MacBook Pro?
Apple laptops have evolved to become minimalist powerhouses. Over the years, MacBook Pro designers have engineered a beautiful, sleek chassis and reduced the weight significantly. The result is a travel-friendly powerhouse, a light-weight editing workstation, a super-slim 4K grading system.
But this progress has come at the cost of reducing laptop's connectivity. A point of contention for many users is that Thunderbolt 3 USB C connections are now the only remaining options. What's wrong with Thunderbolt? Nothing. But creatives often need a fast 10-gigabyte network port, HDMI out and an SD reader among other things. Read TechCrunch for a full rundown on the "Ins & Outs" of the MacBook Pro.
For video professionals, there's one more conundrum to solve: how can I add video inputs or outputs to my MacBook Pro?
If working with a thunderbolt 2 or 3 connection then you can add Sonnet Technologies Echo Express SE III Chassis to use up-to three PCIe cards. Options could be, video, audio or high-speed network cards.
If your needs are just for video in/out options then fitting a Blackmagic Design Decklink 4K Extreme card would add SDI, HDMI, analogue and audio connections, with video support up to 4K! This would still leave a spare PCIe slot in Echo Express SE III Chassis.
The Echo Express SE III Chassis is also a thunderbolt bridging device too and can be daisy chained to up to five other thunderbolt devices. Enter the Sonnet Technologies Echo 11 docking station. This clever Thunderbolt docking unit offers 87 Watts of power, meaning it can support not only a MacBook Pro over the thunderbolt connection but also 15W to other external thunderbolt and USB 3 devices.
If that wasn’t enough Echo 11 also offers an RJ-45 Gigabit LAN connection and SD card slot as well as five USB 3 ports.
Want to add two 4K displays? No problem, the Echo 11 can offer that too via HDMI and thunderbolt 3 ports.