Shocking news came in last week that HDMI.org the group responsible for keeping the HDMI Specifications in check, have declared that the Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cable to be unlicensed and that ALL UNITS must be withdrawn.
This report was carried by SlashGear – see HDMI to Mini DisplayPort Cables Declared Illegal (via TechRadar) – but I have been unable to confirm it. I did contact HDMI.org but have not received any replies yet, so I can’t independently validate this as all being true.
In the SlashGear article, HDMI.org are quoted: “The HDMI specification defines an HDMI cable as having only HDMI connectors on the ends. Anything else is not a licensed use of the specification and therefore, not allowed. All HDMI products undergo compliance testing as defined by the Compliance Testing Specification. The CTS clearly defines necessary tests for all products defined in the HDMI Specification. Since this new cable product is undefined in the Specification, there are no tests associated with this product. It cannot be tested against the Specification.”
If true, this is one of the biggest industry enforcements I have heard of in recent years and will have major implications to major manufactures like Toshiba and Apple who use the DisplayPort.
I have spoken to people in the industry who currently sell generic versions of the cable and they had not heard of this issue and quite rightly went into panic mode since they have been selling the cables for sometime.
I find all this quite confusing since there is a plethora of HDMI-to-something-else cables and why they choose to pick on this one is very strange. This story will continue to unravel and we will try to get to the bottom of this and find out what impact this will have on the market.
As I write this I can sense engineers all over the world rushing back to their desks to design out any HDMI interfaces. This could inadvertently be the beginning of the end of HDMI because if people have any doubts about something then generally people won’t use it.
An advisory word to the wise and all electronics manufacturers is: before going into mass production just make sure your interconnection is both legal and you have the necessary licences to produce your products.
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