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Universal Digital Interface favoured over HDMI

Except with copy protectionists, natch
Thu Aug 10 2006, 13:43
WE did a spot of investigation around the rather interesting High Definition Media Interface (HDMI) connector.

Graphics card manufacturers are still sceptical about HDMI as the feature does not come for free. Manufacturers we spoke to bitched about the new proposed standard as they have to pay a hefty licensing fee to have the HDCP (High bandwidth Digital Content Protection) capability.

To have HDMI, you need to pay a few cents for the HDCP licence. You have to pay it for every single card, and the Taiwanese - like any reasonable economy does not like to pay licensing unless absolutely necessary.

But now the Universal Digital Interface (UDI) appears as a third way around these troubles.

The UDI could subvert HDMI. It will be capable of the same - if not even higher - bandwidth but will not be able to transfer audio. The connector looks very similar to HDMI's and - most importantly for cheapskate manufacturers - you don't have to pay the licensing fee for the HDCP, as the UDI doesn't need it.

Of course the content protection lobby will be miffed by the appearance of UDI. No-one likes to lose a revenue stream for which they have to do burger all. This will be one hell of an interesting fight to follow. µ

 

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