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HDMI Alt Mode for USB Type-C™ Connector

The HDMI Alt Mode for USB Type-C connector will allow HDMI-enabled source devices to utilize 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 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 the HDMI connector, 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 percent of flat panel TVs.

HDMI Alt Mode will support the full range of HDMI 1.4b features such as:

  • Resolutions up to 4K
  • Surround sound
  • Audio Return Channel (ARC)
  • 3D (4K and HD)
  • HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC)
  • Consumer Electronic Control (CEC)
  • Deep Color, x.v.Color, and content types
  • High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP 1.4 and HDCP 2.2)

It’s up to manufacturers to choose which HDMI features they support on their products with USB Type-C.


Q: What is the cable called, is this an HDMI cable?
A: Yes this is an HDMI cable, in this case a USB Type-C to HDMI cable. The cable maintains the current cable names including: Standard HDMI Cable, Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet, High Speed HDMI Cable, and High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet.

Q: When will cables be in the market, and will they be compliance tested?
A: We are assuming that cables will appear in the market when the first of the new products launch. These cables are required to be compliance tested just like all HDMI cables.

Q: What types of products can use the HDMI Alt Mode?
A: Source devices that can be HDMI-enabled and utilize USB Type-C connectors could include tablets, laptops, PCs and smartphones. Those source devices will be able to connect directly to any HDMI display including HD and 4K TVs, PC monitors, projectors, and digital signage.

Q: When will we see products with HDMI Alt Mode over USB Type-C in the market?
A: That is up to the manufacturers, but there is currently demand for this technology so new products incorporating this may be introduced at CES 2017 and launching early next year.

Q: Are there any advantages over other Alt Mode implementations which are already in the market?
A: This allows native HDMI features and capabilities to be utilized in a source device and to be directly connected to any HDMI display. Other Alt Mode solutions do not enable HDMI-specific features and also require converters and connector adapters to connect to HDMI-enabled displays. A simple HDMI to USB Type-C cable can be used to connect USB Type-C devices to native HDMI displays.

Q: Does the HDMI Alt Mode for USB Type-C follow USB requirements?
A: It follows all necessary Alt Mode USB Type-C specification requirements.

Q: Can you show the HDMI Alt Mode for USB Type-C pin mapping?
Download Pin Map

Some documents on our website were published by HDMI Licensing, LLC, and those are now assigned to our new entity HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc.

Q: What about HDMI 2.0b, will that be supported?
A: This specification supports HDMI 1.4b. The HDMI Forum is responsible for the HDMI 2.0b specification and they have not made any public statements regarding the HDMI Alt Mode for the HDMI 2.0b spec.

Q: Due to multiple Alt Mode implementations in the market in addition to HDMI Alt Mode, there may be confusion among the ecosystem and consumers, for example which signals on a device does the USB Type-C port enable? How is that confusion avoided?
A: Manufacturers are responsible for clearly communicating the features of their products in marketing and sales materials, websites, user manuals, and in markings on their products themselves. In some cases manufacturers will be displaying HDMI logos. We are also working with USB-IF to make sure consumers can recognize when HDMI Alt Mode is supported on USB Type-C devices.

Q: What is the best way to identify a device that supports HDMI Alt Mode over USB Type-C?
A: Most devices that support HDMI technology should have the HDMI logo on the box or on the device itself. Otherwise please contact the manufacturer or check their materials as to whether or not they support HDMI Alt Mode over USB Type-C for their product.

Q: Who can get this specification?
A: The specification is available to all active HDMI Adopters.

Q: Will the cables be eligible for the Premium HDMI Cable Certification program?
A: Yes they will be incorporated into the Premium HDMI Cable Certification program.