I'm trying to get two displays on my MBP 13" mid 2012, apparently it supports two daisy chained Apple TB displays, but i can't fork out £1600 for two Apple TB displays, so after a weekend of searching, here are my alternatives:

  1. A mini dp to hdmi (first monitor) the usb to hdmi/vga/dvi (second monitor), problem here is the usb adapters for mac are just not good enough for me.
  2. Using an adapter like the Matrox DualHead2Go Digital SE, to split the mini displayport to two outputs, problem here is the macbook sees both monitors as one big monitor, which isn't what I'm looking for.
  3. Utilize the thunderbolt daisy chaining, using the Elgato thunderbolt dock (which has an hdmi port) connected to the MBP's TB port, you can connect an HDMI display, and then connect the Elgato Thunderbolt Dock to another Elgato Thunderbolt Dock via a Thunderbolt cable. Then, the second Elgato Thunderbolt Dock can connect to a display via Thunderbolt™, HDMI or DisplayPort. Basically using two TB Docks, so you have

    MBP -> Elgato TB dock with hdmi (first monitor) -> second Elgato TB Dock with hdmi (second monitor)

The third option will do what I want, but I don't want to have to buy two docks. Hence, I've been trying to find a thunderbolt device that supports daisy chaining for a price range of less than £100, the closest I got was the Belkin thunderbolt dock but that goes for £154.

I don't really care what the device does I just want to be able to daisy chain my Thunderbolt port from my current dock and attach a second monitor to the chain, i.e. MBP -> TB Dock with hdmi (first monitor) -> a cheap daisy chainable device -> mini displayport to hdmi (second monitor).

I would also appreciate any other suggestions on achieving dual independent displays for my MBP (just in case I've missed something).

2 Answers 2


I have recently run into a similar situation as yours. Both of the proposed solutions below do not use expensive gear like thunderbolt docks or monitors, and can achieve the same (or similar) desired end result.

  1. This Thunderbolt-to-Dual-HDMI adapter allows your to connect two 1080p monitors to a single Thunderbolt port, and have both those monitors act independently from one another (ie. they are not mirrored). The adapter is also passive, which is nice.
  2. Buy a Chromecast. This solution is sub-optimal, and is dependent on you having a decent internet connection, but with this $35 device, you can stream a browser tab, your desktop, audio, video, and more to an external monitor. The third monitor can then be added with a simple Thunderbolt-to-HDMI adapter.
  • 1
    That first one on #1 looks awesome, but the second one only mirrors. Also, as an alternative to Chromecast, AppleTV is also less than £100, and handles full-on display extending fairly well (though not like wires).
    – krs013
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 10:04
  • From the comments I read about the devices mentioned in #1, it is similar to my #2 stated in the question, where both monitors are seen as one i.e. the desktop is stretched across both monitors. I might aswell get a bigger display (without the need for any adapter), that's why I was hoping there was a cheaper way to do this than what I'm trying to do in #3. p.s. the Chromecast will mirror, so that's not an option.
    – nedu
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 11:00

I use one of these: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BUC3M2K/ref=pe_385040_121528360_TE_dp_1

It's not perfect, but it works good enough for me. There is some screen lag, mouse lag, and minor flickering on the display that you connect via USB.

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