Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables face recall over licensing issues

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
HDMI Org, the group that oversees HDMI specifications, has deemed Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables outside of its standard and will not allow them to be sold.



The group explained to TechRadar that ?the HDMI specification defines an HDMI cable as having only HDMI connectors on either end. Anything else is not a licensed use of the specification and therefore, not allowed.?



All licensed HDMI products must undergo compliance testing. Given the fact that the cable is undefined by the group, ?it cannot be tested against the Specification,? thereby making it unofficial and

unlicensed.



This outcome is devastating for the numerous companies that make money from these cables, though there is one upside. Cables, or dongles, that have a DisplayPort on one end and an HDMI female receptacle on the other are licensed.







HDMI Org does, however, note that there are users who covet this type of cable system, stating that recognizes that there "may be a market need for a cable solution rather than a dongle solution. However, at this time, there is no way to produce these cable products in a licensed manner." According to the report, hundreds of thousands of cables could be affected by a recall.



Apple reportedly developed a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter but never released it, relying instead upon third-party offerings .







First introduced in October 2008, the Mini DisplayPort connector is used by Apple in its latest Mac offerings. The standard was designed by Apple as a smaller form factor alternative to the DisplayPort standard. The Video Electronics Standard Association officially adopted the specification in 2009.



More recently, Apple and Intel have collaborated on Thunderbolt, a new high-speed I/O technology that makes use of the Mini DisplayPort connector. The first generation of Thunderbolt offers two channels of 10Gbps transfers in both directions, simultaneously, and 10 watts of power. Intel expects to scale the technology up to transfer rates of 100Gbps within a few years.







Late last month, Apple released the first Thunderbolt cable and added the first third-party Thunderbolt storage solutions to its online store. The cable was revealed to be an active cable with a transceiver chip at each end and ?tons of little resistors.?

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    bsgincbsginc Posts: 78member
    This is the equivalent of the snotty little kid taking his ball and going home because he doesn't like how the game turned out. I sense a hold-up in progress as well. I wonder how much they will steal?
  • Reply 2 of 46
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    glad I already bought my cables from monoprice.com so I do not care at this point what they do.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    jonamacjonamac Posts: 384member
    World gone mad. Nobody outside of the HDMI Group offices (they exist, presumably. I assume they spend their days watching HD films and nodding their heads etc.) thinks this is sane. The language they use makes it sound like the laws of physics are preventing them licensing these cables. Just do it for goodness' sakes. If not, sit and watch the eBay/Chinese import world circumvent your licensing income.
  • Reply 4 of 46
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member
    I don't see a problem with this. If somebody is in charge of and oversees the specifications for a certain type of cable, then they are free to do whatever they want with it.



    Apple would do the exact same thing. You can't take a technology which Apple invented and do whatever you want with it. Apple would sue your ass. Apple is very strict about how their products are used and advertised.
  • Reply 5 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bsginc View Post


    This is the equivalent of the snotty little kid taking his ball and going home because he doesn't like how the game turned out. I sense a hold-up in progress as well. I wonder how much they will steal?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post


    World gone mad. Nobody outside of the HDMI Group offices (they exist, presumably. I assume they spend their days watching HD films and nodding their heads etc.) thinks this is sane. The language they use makes it sound like the laws of physics are preventing them licensing these cables. Just do it for goodness' sakes. If not, sit and watch the eBay/Chinese import world circumvent your licensing income.



    What's the point of developing specifications and standards if nobody follows them and nobody enforces them? Especially if people are slapping on your logo on something you otherwise have no involvement in. Obviously, it's unlikely an A/V cable is going to do something disastrous, but if there is ever a fire with one of these cables, it's going to fall on HDMI Org's shoulders since it's their logo on it if they don't bother enforcing their spec. The problem is not HDMI Org speaking up to declare mDP-HDMI cables out of spec, since this is apparently the truth, and is certainly their right and responsibility to do so. The question is whether there is a legitimate demand for mDP-HDMI cables and how fast HDMI Org can develop a spec to meet this demand.



    I do wonder though whether a mDP-HDMI adapter dongle + a regular HDMI cable will be cheaper than a dedicated mDP-HDMI cable? Certainly a dongle + regular cable combination will be more versatile since it's not a single use case solution and regular HDMI cables can be had cheaply now due to economies of scale. So perhaps HDMI Org's compromise solution may well be cheaper which isn't a bad thing.
  • Reply 6 of 46
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Cables, or dongles, that have a DisplayPort on one end and an HDMI female receptacle on the other are licensed.



    What about my DVI-to-HDMI cable? That's a cable since it has a male HDMI connector on the HDMI end and not a female connector, which apparently would make it an adaptor and not a cable. And for some irrational reason that is allowed but the cable is not??



    I suspect they are simply upset that they are only getting one licensing fee for the miniDisplayPort-HDMI cable. Whereas with an adaptor plus cable they would collect two licensing fees. One for the cable and one for the adaptor. (Or similarly, they'd collect twice if the computer had an HDMI port. Once for the port and once for the cable.)



    Isn't there usually some agreement when a company's tech is used to create an industry standard that they will offer reasonable licensing of their tech? Requiring users to use a combination of adaptor and cable, when a simple cable with one connector at one end (DVI, DisplayPort, miniDisplayPort) and HDMI at the other would be a better solution, seems unreasonable.
  • Reply 7 of 46
    twistedtwisted Posts: 4member
    But why are short cables with female HDMI connectors OK and long cables with male HDMI connectors not OK? And why are m/m DVI-HDMI cables OK--those don't have HDMI connectors at both ends.
  • Reply 8 of 46
    commun5commun5 Posts: 36member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    glad I already bought my cables from monoprice.com so I do not care at this point what they do.



    Monoprice's cable has a female HDMI receptor at one end, so I suppose that makes it a dongle?
  • Reply 9 of 46
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    The Capdase MiniDP-HDMI has an issue when displaying certain output on certain monitors. It's a dongle: http://www.capdase.com/en/product5.p...id=37&pid=3336



    Maybe they've fixed it in recent revisions. I haven't tried any Monoprice cables.



    Apple should just make their own MiniDP/Thunderbolt-HDMI dongle and evaporate all worries, the insanity of these HDMI Org people notwithstanding.



    The Apple iPad-HDMI dongle works great, I don't see why they can't just make a MiniDP/Thunderbolt-HDMI for Macs, at least we know there shouldn't be any issues with it.



    BTW have any of you realised Apple is now favouring iPad and AppleTV for HD Rentals of a lot of movies? That's right, even if you have a glorious 27-inch iMac you can't rent HD movies, but if you have a 10" iPad you can. Of course, that's what the iPad-HDMI dongle is for if you want to watch it on the big screen (but not your iMac or Cinema Display screen).
  • Reply 10 of 46
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    BTW have any of you realised Apple is now favouring iPad and AppleTV for HD Rentals of a lot of movies? That's right, even if you have a glorious 27-inch iMac you can't rent HD movies, but if you have a 10" iPad you can. Of course, that's what the iPad-HDMI dongle is for if you want to watch it on the big screen (but not your iMac or Cinema Display screen).



    How? Doesn't the iPad connect to the same iTunes media store as the computer?
  • Reply 11 of 46
    bsgincbsginc Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


    What's the point of developing specifications and standards if nobody follows them and nobody enforces them? Especially if people are slapping on your logo on something you otherwise have no involvement in.



    Obviously, there is no problem with maintaining the standard, such as it is, but unless they also hold the patent, it would seem that they are creating problems where none should exist. Instead of forcing massive issues on retailers and manufacturers, why not work with them to develop a standard then get each in compliance.



    Otherwise, all they are doing is taking the ball home.
  • Reply 12 of 46
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bsginc View Post


    Otherwise, all they are doing is taking the ball home.



    And demanding extra money for future ball rental.
  • Reply 13 of 46
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    How? Doesn't the iPad connect to the same iTunes media store as the computer?



    I can't speak to the iPad, but the AppleTV and the iTunes application on your computer have never had the same access to rentals. There are many movies which are on AppleTV but either not on the computer via iTunes at all or are only available in SD.



    This could either be a licensing requirement by the studios. Or, perhaps more likely, Apple not so subtly suggesting you should spend money to buy more of their gadgets.
  • Reply 14 of 46
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    I can't speak to the iPad, but the AppleTV and the iTunes application on your computer have never had the same access to rentals. There are many movies which are on AppleTV but either not on the computer via iTunes at all or are only available in SD.



    This could either be a licensing requirement by the studios. Or, perhaps more likely, Apple not so subtly suggesting you should spend money to buy more of their gadgets.



    We need an article to compare what is available on what platform.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    Meh, just because it is not official does not mean somebody would not make it.



    The allowed female receptor end cable just mean you need two different cables instead of one or an adaptor need to be use.
  • Reply 16 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    I don't see a problem with this. If somebody is in charge of and oversees the specifications for a certain type of cable, then they are free to do whatever they want with it.



    Apple would do the exact same thing. You can't take a technology which Apple invented and do whatever you want with it. Apple would sue your ass. Apple is very strict about how their products are used and advertised.



    I agree with this. So here's the problem: Thousands of cables which have been made and cannot be SOLD. The assumption is that they must be recalled and destroyed, which entails additional expense, waste and inconvenience. But - is there any reason they cannot be GIVEN away?
  • Reply 17 of 46
    nicwalmsleynicwalmsley Posts: 117member
    Sounds like a dummy spit to me; they don't like what Thunderbolt could do to HDMI, so they are being petulant.
  • Reply 18 of 46
    vanfrunikenvanfruniken Posts: 258member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post


    I agree with this. So here's the problem: Thousands of cables which have been made and cannot be SOLD. The assumption is that they must be recalled and destroyed, which entails additional expense, waste and inconvenience. But - is there any reason they cannot be GIVEN away?



    They eventually will be pulled from the dumpster and end up on eBay.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    vanfrunikenvanfruniken Posts: 258member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    ...

    I suspect they are simply upset that they are only getting one licensing fee for the miniDisplayPort-HDMI cable. Whereas with an adaptor plus cable they would collect two licensing fees. One for the cable and one for the adaptor. (Or similarly, they'd collect twice if the computer had an HDMI port. Once for the port and once for the cable.)...



    It may well be that customers will use a mHDMI-mHDMI cable they already have lying around and will only purchase the cable/dongle miniDisplayPort(or Thunderbolt for that matter) to female HDMI.

    That way, instead of collecting 2 or 3 times, they will only collect once ! Duh !
  • Reply 20 of 46
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    How? Doesn't the iPad connect to the same iTunes media store as the computer?



    Ah my friend, how the veil of the RDF cloaks your mind. The iTunes media store is able to detect what device you are renting or purchasing on. Hence iPad movies are available in HD but some (many) are not available to rent in HD on Windows or OSX. Remember, you can't transfer rentals from iPad to Windows or OSX, only vice versa.



    Look up The Adjustment Bureau. Notice on Windows or OSX it says "available to rent in HD on iPad and AppleTV". Same for Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 1, which is why I rented that on my iPad.
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