Friday , March 23 2018

USB C, one cable to rule them all: HDMI over USB Alternate Mode announced

USB Type C 02

Cables are a fact of life in out modern world. Every time wireless technology gets better someone invents a new thing that makes cables either necessary or superior. The problem with cables is we have soooooo many of them. Ethernet, USB (A, B, Micro, Mini, C), VGA, DVI, DisplayPort HDMI, power … you get the point.

What’s worse is when companies use either a non-standard or proprietary cable. One of the many visions for USB was to provide a single channel that could replace many of these cables with a single cable, or at least a common plug. Thanks to an announcement from the HDMI licencing LLC (the group responsible for the HDMI standard) we are now one step closer to that goal.

A new standard for HDMI over USB type C connectors using an HDMI Alternate Mode will allow HDMI connectivity up to 1.4b, which includes support for resolutions up to 4K, Audio Return Channel (ARC), 3D, HDMI Ethernet Channel, and Consumer Electronic Control (CEC). At present, the standard supports cables with a USB C connector on one end and an HDMI connector on the other, no dongles or adapters required.

Now that we have the standard we just need to wait for both cable manufacturers to release the new USB C to HDMI cables and device manufacturers to implement the standard on devices. With this announcement, we may well see USB C start to show up in a whole range of device such as video cameras.

This is a great movie but I’d like to see the HDMI foundation adopt USB C to USB C HDMI transmission. The more cables we can remove from the landscape whilst maintain features and innovation the better.

Are you looking forward to a simpler cable future? Let us know which cables you want to eliminate.

Source: HDMI LLC.

Duncan Jaffrey   Journalist

Duncan has been interested in technology since coding "Mary had a little Lamb" in Basic on his ZX Spectrum. A fan of all things Android, most days you'll find Duncan trawling the web for Android news or quietly editing away on Map Maker.

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3 Comments on "USB C, one cable to rule them all: HDMI over USB Alternate Mode announced"

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Valued Guest

Wonder why its limited to 1.4b and not 2.0a

Valued Guest

The conspiracy theorist in me says they wouldn’t want to let the latest hotness out of their own end to end standard

Valued Guest

Maybe. Though by the time devices supported it you’d think hdmi would have moved on anyway. But I guess this stops say tv makers not licensing the socket and just going hdmi over usb-c instead.

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