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HDMI Alternate Mode Unveiled at IFA 2016 for USB Type-C to HDMI Cables

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HDMI Alternate Mode Unveiled at IFA 2016 for USB Type-C to HDMI Cables

Highlights

  • The cable will omit the use of additional adapters
  • You can play 4K, 3D videos perfectly on HDTVs
  • The company introduced the product at IFA 2016

A lot of people were intrigued when the USB Type-C made its way into the markets. That said, today a number of smartphones are shipping with USB Type-C and have conventionally ditched the old method of phone charging. Along with USB Type-C came the uneasiness to connect the smartphones to various devices, like an HDTV. Well, now this problem may go away as the organisations behind the USB and HDMI specifications have announced a new method to connect your smartphone (or any device with USB Type-C) to an external device having an HDMI port.

During IFA 2016 this week in Berlin, HDMI Licensing announced HDMI Alternate Mode and its cable specification, developed by HDMI Founders for USB Type-C. With this, manufacturers can create a single cable that can connect an HDTV to a USB Type-C port without an adapter. The cable will single-handedly project the content from the USB Type-C device to an HDMI-enabled device. As you'd expect, cables that support HDMI Alternate Mode will house an HDMI connector on the display side while USB Type-C connector will sit on the source side. This means users can now get rid of external dongles and adapters that they were using to establish any connections with HDMI ports.

The new HDMI-USB Type-C cable will be based on the older HDMI1.4b, hence will not support Ultra HD 4K videos with HDR playback. A newer HDMI2.0b is the standard variant now available for most of the devices today. Notably, HDMI1.4b can play 4K, 3D, HDMI-CEC with Audio Return Channel support via the cable, so if you aren't an Ultra-HD 4K videos fan, you're good to go. The latest specification has been uploaded to the HDMI site for manufacturer implementation.

"The USB Type-C connector is gaining traction in the mobile and PC markets," said 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," said 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."

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