HDMI Licensing has rolled out the HDMI Alternate Mode for the USB Type-C specification, allowing HDMI-enabled source devices to utilise a USB Type-C connector to directly connect to HDMI-enabled displays, and deliver native HDMI signals over a simple cable without the need for cumbersome protocol and connector adapters or dongles.

This enables two of the most popular solutions for connectivity to come together—the small form factor, reversible, and multi-purpose USB Type-C connector being adopted by smartphones, tablets and PC products, and HDMI, which is the leading display interface with an installed base of billions of displays. Almost 290 million HDMI-enabled display devices are expected to ship in 2016, including projectors, monitors and 100% of flat panel TVs.

HDMI Alt Mode will support the full range of HDMI 1.4b features such as: resolutions up to 4K, audio return channel (ARC), 3D, HDMI Ethernet channel, and consumer electronic control (CEC). The HDMI cable will utilise the USB Type-C connector on the source side and any HDMI connector on the display side. Unlike the other Alt Mode display technologies which require various adapters or dongles to connect to HDMI displays, HDMI Alt Mode enables an easy connection via a simple USB Type-C to HDMI cable.

“The USB Type-C connector is gaining traction in the mobile and PC markets,” said Rob Tobias, president of HDMI Licensing, LLC.

“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 recognise when HDMI Alt Mode is supported on USB Type-C devices.”