The fine folks at HDMI.org, aka 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in check, have declared that the Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cable to be unlicensed and that ALL UNITS must be withdrawn.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 may very well deal a mighty blow to groups already manufacturing said cords en masse as well as to Apple who is one of only a few manufacturers who use the DisplayPort in their devices – another of these groups being Toshiba. This notification to manufacturers of said cable means they must both stop production immediately and recall all units already distributed or they’ll legal action.
Speaking with TechRadar on the situation, HDMI Org explained that there were several reasons why they’ve come to this conclusion for the cable. Each of these reasons is quite clear and at the moment it’s unclear as to why the cord was manufactured without first going through the necessary tests:
“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.” – HDMI Org
This move will reduce the cords currently in production to non-moveable units, while it does still appear that dongles with DisplayPort socket on one side and HDMI female receiver socket on the other side will remain in production for the time being. HDMI Org notes that this is because a licensed HDMI cord can be slotted into them. From what we understand, it is the absence altogether of an officially licensed HDMI cord that makes the HDMI to Mini DisplayPort Cables illegal.
HDMI Org does go on to note that it may be possible to license the now-illegal cords in the future:
“We do recognise 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.” – HDMI Org
Harsh? Now when you consider the circumstances and the rules set clearly in stone, says HDMI Org. Rules is rules we suppose!