Networking & Cables

HDMI Over USB Specification Released

New HDMI 'Alt Mode' for USB Type-C connectors enables delivery of native HDMI 1.4 signal to 4K/UltraHD displays with no adapters or dongles.


Jason Knott · September 1, 2016

HDMI Licensing, LLC is releasing its HDMI Alternate Mode (“Alt Mode”) developed by the HDMI Founders for the USB Type-C Specification. This will allow HDMI-enabled source devices to utilize a USB Type-C connector to directly connect to HDMI-enabled displays, and deliver native HDMI signals over a simple cable without the need for cumbersome protocol and connector adapters or dongles.

This enables two of the most popular solutions for connectivity to come together: HDMI and the small form factor, reversible, and multi-purpose USB Type-C connector being adopted by smartphones, tablets and PC products. Almost 290 million HDMI-enabled display devices are expected to ship in 2016, including projectors, monitors and 100 percent of flat panel TVs.

HDMI Alt Mode will support the full range of HDMI 1.4b features such as: resolutions up to 4K, Audio Return Channel (ARC), 3D, HDMI Ethernet Channel, and Consumer Electronic Control (CEC). The HDMI cable will utilize the USB Type-C connector on the source side and any HDMI connector on the display side. Unlike the other Alt Mode display technologies which require various adapters or dongles to connect to HDMI displays, HDMI Alt Mode enables an easy connection via a simple USB Type-C to HDMI cable.

“The USB Type-C connector is gaining traction in the mobile and PC markets,” says Rob Tobias, president of HDMI Licensing, LLC. “Consumers expect to easily connect these devices to displays with a USB Type-C to HDMI cable and utilize the capabilities and features of native HDMI. This specification will also result in more source devices incorporating HDMI. HDMI continues to evolve to meet the needs of the over 1,600 worldwide adopters making HDMI products, and grow upon the nearly six billion HDMI devices shipped.”

“USB Type-C is quickly becoming the connector of choice for many types of consumer electronics products wanting a single solution for audio, video, data and power,” says Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF President and COO. “Easily connecting devices with USB Type-C to the huge installed base of HDMI-enabled TVs is a substantial benefit to consumers. We’re also coordinating with HDMI Licensing to ensure consumers can recognize when HDMI Alt Mode is supported on USB Type-C devices.”

The HDMI 1.4b Alt-Mode on USB Type-C Specification is available to all HDMI Adopters at www.hdmi.org.

For more information on the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), or the USB Type-C specification, please visit www.usb.org.



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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at jason.knott@emeraldexpo.com

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Networking & Cables · HDMI · News · 4K · Ultra HD · Wire and Cable · All Topics
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