Macbook fans, you may want to look away now. The hugely popular Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cable has been declared illegal by the HDMI.org authorities, and all cables have been ordered to be withdrawn from sale.
The Mini DisplayPort was announced by Apple in 2008 and has since featured on all Mac and Macbook devices. Because Apple choose to use this type of connection instead of HDMI, Apple fans are forced to buy adaptors or Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables in order to hook their Macs up to big screens.
But now, HDMI.org, the organisation who control which devices and accessories are “HDMI compliant”, have declared the Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables are unlicensed and unfit for sale.
HDMI Org have reached out to all manufacturers of these cables and ordered that manufacturing is to be ceased immediately, and all units currently on sale are to be recalled. They say that if these actions are not taken by any cable manufacturer, then legal action will be taken.
The organisation says there are several reasons for removing this type of cable from sale. Firstly, by calling itself a HDMI cable of any sort is breaking one of the big rules. To be a HDMI cable it needs a Male HDMI connection at both ends – Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables clearly do not.
A quote from the organisation explains the exact reason:
“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
Though the cables have been withdrawn, HDMI Org says that there will be no ban on “dongle” adaptors. These would connect to the Mini DisplayPort on a Mac or Macbook and provide a female socket to which you would connect a licensed HDMI to HDMI cable.
HDMI Org says that the Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables may be re-licensed and available to buy in the future, but it won’t be anytime soon.
“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.”
At present only Apple and Toshiba make use of the Mini DisplayPort technology, though there is still a large market for adaptor cables to other connections such as HDMI, VGA and DVI. We envisage this move by HDMI Org being quite a blow to both companies as well as all manufacturers of the cables in question.
What do you think of the decision to ban this type of cable? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below, or tweeting us @Gadget_Helpline.