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AMD Intentionally Added Artificial Limitations To Their HDMI Adapters

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the market-segmentation-works-best-on-the-sly dept.

AMD 256

An anonymous reader writes "NVIDIA was caught removing features from their Linux driver and days later Linux developers have caught and confirmed AMD imposing artificial limitations on their graphics cards in the DVI-to-HDMI adapters that their driver will support. Over years AMD has quietly been adding an extra EEPROM chip to their DVI-to-HDMI adapters that are bundled with Radeon HD graphics cards. Only when these identified adapters are detected via checks in their Windows and Linux Catalyst driver is HDMI audio enabled. If using a third-party DVI-to-HDMI adapter, HDMI audio support is disabled by the Catalyst driver. Open-source Linux developers have found this to be a self-imposed limitation and that the open-source AMD Linux driver will work fine with any DVI-to-HDMI adapter."

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I'm guessing this isn't the only thing. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069187)

Tip of the Iceberg.

Re:I'm guessing this isn't the only thing. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45070067)

So, just the tip then? Promise?

Why? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069193)

Seriously, AMD, Why?

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about 10 months ago | (#45069249)

Because scumbags.

Re:Why? (2)

Bramlet Abercrombie (1435537) | about 10 months ago | (#45069723)

Off with thier heads!

Re:Why? (3, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 10 months ago | (#45070065)

Off with their heads!

Since they weren't using them anyway, I don't think removing their heads would change anything... It you want to lop off something they will respond to, it should be their bottom line that gets axed. That means steering people away from AMD overall. I don't know about you, but every time someone I know wants a new system or tech toy, they ask my opinion before buying. I'm happy to take a few minutes to research something for them and often suggest better alternatives... AMD is now off the menu...

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45070093)

They wouldnt be true to their "ATI" roots if they didnt do crap like this.

Good hardware, terrible drivers.... never changes.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 10 months ago | (#45069319)

Indeed. Doing something like this only makes sense if you TELL people about the limitations. "Buy our adapters and you WILL be able to fully use your HDMI cable for audio!"

If it's a surprise, you're just annoying customers and not making any money off of it.

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069503)

it's cool--this information just seals the deal.

my current AMD cpu/mainboard/video card system sucked--intermittent slowdowns/video lad, and certain games randomly crash. reloads/drvers/friwmare, tweaks, fans on everything--nothing fixes it.

I will not be buying amd for either video or compute. abd more importantly--- i will REMEMBER how they shafted people.

'tis a shame, they were my preferred choice for a long time.

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 10 months ago | (#45069553)

It was to be announced at the Developer Summit on Monday. As you know, the CEO loves surprises.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

jonsmirl (114798) | about 10 months ago | (#45069617)

Why do you assume that AMD did this voluntarily? Much more likely that this is caused by some idiotic DRM requirement for for HDCP 'protected audio path' or working around some idiotic patent. Likely reason - a DRM requirement to stop people from plugging in devices that strip HDCP.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 10 months ago | (#45069667)

Why do you assume that AMD did this voluntarily? Much more likely that this is caused by some idiotic DRM requirement for for HDCP 'protected audio path'. Likely reason - a DRM requirement to stop people from plugging in devices that strip HDCP.

Exactly.

You can bet that the RIAA/MPAA cartel had something to do with this

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

They'reComingToTakeM (1091657) | about 10 months ago | (#45069973)

"You can bet that the MAFIAA cartel had something to do with this"

FTFY. (MAFIAA - Music And Film Industry Associations of America)

Re:Why? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 10 months ago | (#45069945)

Why do you assume that AMD did this voluntarily?

Ignorance probably. I don't work in anything related. Your theory makes more sense than mine of "marketing gone horribly stupid."

Re:Why? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#45070013)

But we want to see a particular attack against Linux from a company, not some silly licensing reasons that while my disagree with, make sense.

Simple : AMD=Awful Macro Devices (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069341)

Awful Macro Devices is and has always been a shitty business to purchase parts from, especially since they have never been nor will they ever support free software but will always support M$ and $ony along with their Digital Restrictions Management. Stick with Intel as they support the free software community, unlike Awful Macro Devices who seems to advocate Digital Restrictions Management infected non-free software.

--
Friends don't help friends install M$ junk.
Friends do assist M$ addicted friends in committing suicide.

Re:Simple : AMD=Awful Macro Devices (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069497)

Stallman, is that you?

Re:Simple : AMD=Awful Macro Devices (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#45070101)

Media makers say: We need to you make sure you have DRM or we wont sell to you.
Device Makers can say No, and not get the media makers provide, (giving opportunity to your competitors)
Device Makers can say Yes, and add those DRM restrictions, thus being able to give the media makers media. You sell more products and most of your customers are happy they can get access to the media.

Microsoft, and AMD are willing to give DRM so they they offer the competitive advantage of selling product that will work with more Media.

Sony is a Media maker along with others and still haven't really got a good why to protect their IP without screwing over others, who wants to use their media legally.

I wouldn't blame the technology makers, they are corporations they will do whatever makes them money. If the Media makers stop all their DRM requirements that is one less feature for them to maintain. But the media makers are to blame for pushing this on them.

Sure some companies can say no. However if they do, they will get a few customers who really care, but most want the media and not worry about what they are giving up.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069451)

It seems likely that this has something to do with meeting the licensing requirements for the Protected Audio Path?

Re: Why? (5, Interesting)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | about 10 months ago | (#45069455)

Same reason as the newer RealTek sound drivers have disabled/removed the Stereo Mix recording device: DRM.

Re: Why? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 10 months ago | (#45070049)

God that one annoys me tremendously.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#45069573)

Because DVI isn't supposed to carry audio.

I suspect there's a licensing agreement somewhere saying they must conform to the DVI spec, including its lack of audio support, but if they count the HDMI adapter as a part of the whole system, they're just using a DVI-like connector in the middle of an HDMI system.

Another cause could be avoiding liability. If they send out audio by default and it breaks some other device, they're at fault. If the other device asked for it (by the presence of the special chip), it should be able to handle it just fine.

As yet another possible reason, the audio-over-DVI system could have been designed as a feature, that AMD simply abandoned. Since they've done the work implementing it in their chips and adapters, it costs almost nothing more for them to keep using it, probably even costing less than it would to support separate product lines with and without the capability. However, they may not want to run the extra expense of publishing and supporting yet another standard, when HDMI is already showing wide adoption as the next standard for everything.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069833)

In other news, Slashdot has resorted to yet another "create a controversy" clickbate article. In this case, it's to "fairly" impinge AMD for following a spec? with the justification that this somehow balances nVidia DRIVER feature non-parity. The nVidia "issue" was barely better than clickbate, this is even thinner. Slashdot is pretty much the worst.

This! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45070075)

This is exactly what's happening. Reading the summary, my first thought was that it was incorrect and my second thought was that the writer was clueless. After all, DVI doesn't support audio so how can DVI out provide audio to a DVI - HDMI adapter? The answer is; only by breaking the standard.

So, if you break the DVI standard and send audio out what happens? There are no adverse effects, at all, ever, even when the connection is DVI - DVI? It seems to me that they are simply adding a safety feature to their non-standard implementation. 'If we don;t know for absolute certain that the end point is HDMI, don't send audio out the DVI interface.'

Re:Why? (1)

Gubbe (705219) | about 10 months ago | (#45069601)

If I've understood correctly, HDMI displays support DVI signaling, which they can fall back to in the case of an adapter being used to convert an old non-HDMI aware DVI output to HDMI.
However, in HDMI mode the displays receive HDMI packets, which can also encapsulate audio. What if the closed source driver detects that there's an adapter being used and changes the DVI port's output from DVI signals to HDMI packets, thus enabling audio support? If it doesn't detect the adapter, then it assumes it's connected to an old DVI display and just signals with the DVI standard, which the HDMI display still understands just fine, but there's no audio.

Though how audio works with the open source driver and cheap adapter, that I don't know. Perhaps the open source driver uses a different method to detect that there's an HDMI display connected and HDMI mode should be used.

As it often is with these kinds of internet storms, the culprit is not necessarily malice, just perhaps overly cautious engineering.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069709)

pretty sure the audio is just sent during the blanking period, and is ignored by devices that don't attempt to process audio.

Re:Why? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#45069609)

because moar expensive.

maybe they had some other extended use in mind for the connector, but totally forgot about that while in production.

or they wanted to copy apple. you know, benchmarking as a business term as explained in dilbert. doing what some other business is doing only totally fuckedly uppedly. I mean, where the fuck would I even find their adapter from for sale, how the fuck would I know that the audio works with their adapter and isn't just broken on the frigging card?

ati(amd) has probably had a special connectors just for the fucksake of it for over a decade though. back in the day you were to pray that you didn't lose their svideo->composite adapter cable.. because you weren't going to get a replacement anywhere(and you couldn't use a generic one).

Why do this? (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45069201)

Do they make that much on adaptors that they care?
Since when?

Re:Why do this? (5, Insightful)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | about 10 months ago | (#45069267)

I'm also struggling to see a reason for this.

The only thing I can think / guess is that some patent, licence and/or DRM limitation was identified by AMD that restricts (in legal terms) audio over DVI, but allows it over HDMI. Again, my best guess at this time.

Re:Why do this? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45069321)

I guess, because they give the adaptors away.
I can't even see it being DRM, just some sort of patent stupidity.

Re:Why do this? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#45069339)

Could it be simplifying their tech support somehow?

Re:Why do this? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45069351)

I can't imagine that to be the case. Are there that many non-functional DVI to HDMI adaptors?

Re:Why do this? (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 10 months ago | (#45069815)

its PURELY a physical pin mapping, for chrissakes! not even a level shifter or anything.

to put a rom in there is beyond stupid. this is boycott worthy.

too bad nvidia also sucks (I can't upgrade my kernel due to stupid nvidia blob not working with 3.11 and my distro, yet).

hdmi was always a nightmare and this does not help people feel good about it, sigh.

Re:Why do this? (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 10 months ago | (#45069891)

Could it be simplifying their tech support somehow?

Not if they start getting a thousand calls a day about this, after this article...

Re:Why do this? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 10 months ago | (#45069993)

let me get this straight: they add code to their driver to 'do things' if the eeprom is or is not there. they add cost to the passive (!) dongles and now create unseen classes of type-a and type-b dongles (my terms, not theirs). and you think this makes stuff EASIER for support, this way?

boggle!

Re:Why do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069447)

I would also guess some sort of secret patent agreement, it seems too stupid of a thing to attribute elsewhere.

Re:Why do this? (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 10 months ago | (#45069335)

Why do phone manufacturers lock bootloaders? Companies add huge technical complexity for trivial reason all the time and rarely take the cost of unexpected failures and consumer outrage into account.

Re:Why do this? (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45069359)

Because carriers pay extra for that or will not carry a phone without it.

Re:Why do this? (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 months ago | (#45069347)

So that they can choose when their hardware becomes obsolete.

One of the biggest unspoken threats of Linux is the added longevity hardware picks up. People can use much older hardware because Linux has a much more broad range of support for hardware than any one version of Windows. Why is that? You could argue that supporting device X under all versions of Windows is expensive or some crap like that. But at the end of the day, Linux does this because it's just there... in the kernel source somewhere. But when hardware makers want to push new high-end devices, they sometimes encourage upgrades by disabling features, decreasing performance and all manner of dirty tricks.

If people were wondering why AMD and NVidia have been holding back so hard on their Linux support, I think this is a much more plausible reason than "we outsourced development of the drivers and they patented and/or copyrighted stuff."

Re:Why do this? (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 10 months ago | (#45069399)

With the rise of tablets and consoles for gaming, I'm thinking those Linux/Steam installs are starting to look a little more profitable.

Re:Why do this? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#45070077)

It's not really true though, is it? Windows will run fine on ancient graphics cards, just without full acceleration. The same is true of Linux - if you run a really old card it won't be fully accelerated in modern windowing systems, but will work.

Re:Why do this? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069385)

Given how much legal bullshit is involved with HDMI (adapters are allowed, but adapter cables not; Anything-to-HDMI is allowed, but HDMI-to-something else isn't), I wouldn't be surprised if this was some legal requirement. Sounds stupid enough for it, at any rate.

Re:Why do this? (5, Informative)

marcomarrero (521557) | about 10 months ago | (#45069547)

I think you're right, and I also think sending audio through DVI is a ugly non-standard proprietary hack, so it's logical it only works with their adapters.

Re:Why do this? (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 10 months ago | (#45069683)

My guess is because the DVI standard doesn't actually have an audio transport channel, so they only switch it on when a DVI connection that they recognize as a DVI-to-HDMI adaptor is attached. They can only do that when one of their adapters is attached. Otherwise, they see a DVI device so they output a proper DVI signal. It's sticking to the DVI specifications very precisely (perhaps a bit too precisely).

Of course, I don't know enough about the specs to say for sure if that is why, or if there would be a better way (I strongly suspect there is, but am not sure).

Re:Why do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069743)

afaik, they don't even sell the fucking things as a separate accessory. it's what's in the box, for free, or you're on your own if you lost or gave yours away thinking it was a normal adapter... so the only way to get a new or replacement amd-branded adapter is to buy a new video card -- but the better course of action (ahem, at least if you don't want to use every video output on a video card) is to just switch to nvidia and tell amd to fuck themselves and to quick screwing up what was a good thing (i.e. ati, pre-amd)

Re:Why do this? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#45069885)

Are the adapters typically sold separately? It's just more artificial scarcity / defective by design / DRM BS. Sounds like something the MPAA/RIAA goons would eat up with a spoon. Fuck this. Just make good hardware. Open the damn drivers so we can use the hardware to its full capabilities; We don't pay for drivers, we pay for hardware. If you want to put secret bullshit in the card, do it in the card. I guess this explains why the adapter I gave my friend wouldn't work. Guess what? They returned the fucking card, AMD. You LOST sales and a customer for life (them, not me, I don't let proprietary shit software touch my metal).

Uneeded field (0)

manu144x (3377615) | about 10 months ago | (#45069205)

This is why i love software, companies can't trick people that easy, their customers are too smart :) If only we could do that for all our products...

I'm glad we got competition! (5, Insightful)

Elbart (1233584) | about 10 months ago | (#45069223)

If companies would dedicate only 1/10th of their let's-screw-with-our-customer-resources to actual improvement of their products, *gasp*, I would be so happy.

Re:I'm glad we got competition! (3, Insightful)

Tukz (664339) | about 10 months ago | (#45069241)

But that wouldn't be cost-effective.
By spending resources on fucking over the customers, they earn more money for the shareholders, who are the people they really care about.

Re:I'm glad we got competition! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45069259)

How does restricting the card to only use adaptors you give away for free make money?

It would be cheaper to not have this check and then tell people to buy their own adaptors.

How much revenue are they really protecting?? (5, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 10 months ago | (#45069229)

It's crazy that companies go through all this trouble to protect a revenue stream from something as inexpensive and generic as a DVI to HDMI adapter.

Really, if they want to make a little more money, why not charge an extra dollar for the card itself and be done with it?

DVI/HDMI don't even carry power, so you can't use the "it might fry the device" excuse that Apple uses with their lightning plugs.

Re:How much revenue are they really protecting?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069303)

Sounds a bit like the Apple iOS7. I have had a heck of a time with my 3rd party charging cables since the upgrade.

Re:How much revenue are they really protecting?? (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 10 months ago | (#45069775)

And my iPhone 4 is all but unusuable now, with no way to go back to iOS 6.

Re:How much revenue are they really protecting?? (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 10 months ago | (#45069931)

I'm still of the firm opinion that the iPhone 4 shouldn't have received iOS 7. It's just too slow for it.

Hell, it was somewhat slow for iOS 6!

Re:How much revenue are they really protecting?? (5, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 10 months ago | (#45069311)

It's crazy that companies go through all this trouble to protect a revenue stream from something as inexpensive and generic as a DVI to HDMI adapter.

Not only that, but I wouldn't even know where to start to find a their branded version except in the box of a graphics card (and typically all those things when I get them just get tossed into a drawer - of the umpteen bazillion of them in there I doubt I know which goes with which).

My guess though is that the actual sales they're trying to protect here are those to the card makers rather than end users. If the companies making cards using their chips have to buy the adapters from AMD instead whatever the cheapest source in Hong Kong is, then I'm guessing it adds up. The end-user is just collateral damage.

Re:How much revenue are they really protecting?? (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45069381)

That is the first explanation that makes any sense.

Force the OEMs to buy these DVI to HDMI chips from AMD vs another competitor.

Re:How much revenue are they really protecting?? (0)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 10 months ago | (#45069419)

you'd get insightful if i had mod points. that's the best motive anyone has come up with.

Re:How much revenue are they really protecting?? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 10 months ago | (#45069405)

It's crazy that companies go through all this trouble to protect a revenue stream from something as inexpensive and generic as a DVI to HDMI adapter.

Except they're not even doing that! The article says the adaptor is bundled with the card, and it must cost them more for the EEPROM. Even at a fraction of a cent, that adds up over millions of devices.

Re:How much revenue are they really protecting?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069569)

Even at a fraction of a cent, that adds up over millions of devices.

Yes, that would be a lot, if you only bought the adapter. Compared to the graphics card it is marginal.

The only explanation is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069253)

They must be homos

Re:The only explanation is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069275)

They must be homos

or niggers

Re:The only explanation is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069331)

homo niggers is my bet

Re:The only explanation is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069333)

They must be homos

or niggers

or gay niggers

Re:The only explanation is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069369)

They must be homos

or niggers

Nope, only greedy capitalist crackers that are as racist and stupid as you would pull a scam like AMD.

Re:The only explanation is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069349)

They are indeed members of the species "homo sapiens". And you're right, no other species on earth would do such a thing. Mostly because no other species on earth builds graphics cards.

Re:The only explanation is (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45069401)

They are indeed members of the species "homo sapiens". And you're right, no other species on earth would do such a thing. Mostly because no other species on earth builds graphics cards.

Reminds me of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace [wikiquote.org] :

Daglass: I figure the following: Sanch is regressing to Homo neanderthalenus. Right now Sanch you're Homo erectus but who knows how long you’ve got?
Sanchez: I appreciate you being straight with me.
Reed: And you and I are Homo sapiens?
Daglass: Correct.
Reed: But if we’re all basically Homos, shouldn’t we get along?

Another reason to quit PC gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069255)

IDDQD (to protect against all flames)

Throw this one in the same bin as all the DRM, freemium games, games that artificially favor nVidia cards over AMD ones, and generally everything the putrid games industry does to screw PC gamers.

Find another hobby!!

Re:Another reason to quit PC gaming (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#45070055)

IDDQD (to protect against all flames)

Throw this one in the same bin as all the DRM, freemium games, games that artificially favor nVidia cards over AMD ones, and generally everything the putrid games industry does to screw PC gamers.

Find another hobby!!

I make games. I'm not part of the putrid part of the games industry. I will never release a freemium game. I would rather ask for the dev costs from the end users (crowd sourced) then just give the game away to everyone for free, and do more work to make more money -- Same as working under a Publisher, but without the artificial scarcity or price jacking... I have to bootstrap into that system first though, so I'm building some rep with smaller games first.

My DRM is a Web of Trust security system that users can enable / disable at will (but should just keep enabled, so they can add Modders to the trust list and verify patches and mods are trusted not to be tampered with on those private servers you can run -- because, why wouldn't I want you to alleviate server bandwidth?). The games come with content editors -- Hey, If I have to make the tools for me, you can have them too so you can use the software to its full potential.

I even make sure my stuff runs natively cross platform (no fucking WINE or Flash wrappers). Once I bootstrap into the working for end users directly system I'll even release sources as they're being developed. I'd much rather just work on games than have a day job, but the heart and soul of the industry is the gamedevs, not the Publishers and Manufacturers. I don't see how anyone could compete with games produced at-cost, with no DRM (because no one can pirate what's in my brain since they paid me to get it out), and full access to devtools / sources, so I'd say the future is bright for the games industry.

Don't lump us all in with the greedy corporate overlords. More and more of us are escaping, and some of us are rejecting their revenue model by keeping the one we had while we worked under them -- Fund indie game studios, You can be the benevolent overlord hivemind; We can end shitty games before they begin!

HDMI has limitation built in to the spec (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 months ago | (#45069279)

It was practically designed by the copyright industry so that they can control everything. I mean they have just about ruined the spec preventing it from being useful. Why does it need an encrypted signal? It kind of ticks me off. I recall troubleshooting and actually putting my amp system into the shop TWICE at the manufacturer's suggestion because they didn't recognize (or admit) that the problem I was experiencing was all about HDMI. (And to think all I wanted to do was play a video game through my amp and to the TV... what copyright interest is there in that?!)

Re:HDMI has limitation built in to the spec (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069625)

Buy a decent amp next time. There's nothing odd about HDMI, the world is full of devices all working together nicely, and there are over 150 million 360 + PS3 in use, most will be running with HDMI cables.

Re:HDMI has limitation built in to the spec (4, Interesting)

tibit (1762298) | about 10 months ago | (#45069669)

Yeah. I have a Sony TV and a Sony Blu-Ray player - both less than 2 years old. The crypto negotiation takes about a second, with blank screen and audible pops. On most Blu-Ray discs it happens at least twice before you get to playing the movie. With DVDs it sometimes takes place 4 times. I swear that an old CRT TV and a VCR were faster to cold-boot to a visible, playing movie, with inclusion of loading the tape, than the current generation of HD gear. It says something when a system that could, theoretically, be up and playing in 5 seconds from power-up is almost a factor of magnitude away from what the hardware allows it to do. It really takes the cake when such a system is about as "fast" as an electromechanical variant. Yeah, VCRs are nowhere near the quality of even DVDs, but still.

Re:HDMI has limitation built in to the spec (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 10 months ago | (#45069879)

Sage wisdom my friend...
I continually troubleshoot my LG TV / Onkyo Receiver / Sony BD/DVD. I'm always amazed at how slow and klooodgy this high tech setup is... Once it is working, it works great though. I love the roundabout I have to take to get audio to play from USB via Receiver AND watch over the air TV simultaneously. Yea, I know, I need a universal remote.

Re:HDMI has limitation built in to the spec (1)

swb (14022) | about 10 months ago | (#45069761)

It makes even less sense on DVI->HDMI. AFAIK, DVI is less encumbered than HDMI, so you'd kind of expect it on an HDMI->DVI adapter. But moving from a less to more encumbered connection? That makes no sense.

As much as I dislike the DRM aspects of HDMI, it is a lot less annoying from a cabling perspective to be able to get HD video and digital audio on a single, relatively sturdy cable.

Before my gear was HDMI capable it was a major annoyance to cable everything together -- component video cables (3x RCA), digital audio cable (optical or RCA) and it was kind of a mess.

With HDMI, I run a lot fewer cables and it generally works, although device signalling doesn't work right much of the time -- turning on the TV causes it to randomly change the receiver input selection, not default back to the last input. And my Tivo Series 3 DVR has brain damaged DVI that causes it to not work through my Pioneer receiver.

Re:HDMI has limitation built in to the spec (2)

onyxruby (118189) | about 10 months ago | (#45069889)

Let's correct what you wrote -

It was designed by the copyright industry so that they can control everything. It has an encrypted signal.

It really is that simple. The people that would be offering the content designed the spec for the cable and port for the express purpose of restricting and preventing you from freely using it. Instead of bitching about something, research it and look it up. Your hypothesizing if something that was designed [google.com] by the media cartels and the tech companies for the express purpose of preventing fair use might have been designed for this purpose!

Good thing (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069281)

Good thing they open sourced their drivers. Now profitable business decisions can be chastised by the linux community! Everyone boycott AMD!

nVidia should release all their IP as well! That way everyone can shit all over their linux support!

This is hardly a new practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069301)

C'mon, hardware companies have been doing this for 50 years. When the customer upgrades, they send out a field guy to remove the limiter.

Some of us even remember something similar done by the phone company to the last mile of copper telephone lines, so we had to pay more to upgrade our 44Kbps modems to get DSL.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069315)

Other than request by an outside SW or HW vendor, what purpose does this serve?

I'm really not seeing a benefit here, and that's probably the point.

Competition (3, Insightful)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 10 months ago | (#45069353)

Remember back when there was all kinds of competition in the video chipset\card market? 3DFX, Rendition, S3, Matrox, etc... Now we are down to two choices and they are both screwing us over... I guess that's what happens when competition is limited. What to do?

Re:Competition (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069463)

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Re:Competition (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 10 months ago | (#45070037)

that, and "nvidia killed the radio star"

or, something like that....

both ATI and NV are evil. it really is a kang/kodos kind of choice.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069577)

Even though AMD is the culprit in this topic, this statement is the reason we need AMD to stay in business. Intel cannot be the only company that makes CPUs.

PS - I miss 3DFX.

Re:Competition (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 10 months ago | (#45069677)

You mean the 3dfx who made Glide, a proprietary API that only they implemented with any semblance of performance and then managed to get game devs to use instead of open alternatives like OpenGL? Yeah, um, I'm not sure that's such a good idea.

Then again, AMD are making Mantle now. Maybe they're the new 3dfx.

yes, yes they did. its what we told them to do. (5, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | about 10 months ago | (#45069383)

this is a normal part of a functional modern consumer capitalism. planned obsolescence, crippled interoperability and limited features are all things corporations adopt in order to drive profit and increase sales yearly. its why your cellphone doesnt have expandable RAM anymore and your game consoles and processors routinely change size, shape, and pin count. The problem is not AMD, its the notion that any economic system constructed on a finite level of resources can questionlessly and consistently achieve percentages of growth regardless of demand. well built, creative and useful products serve no purpose, but are sometimes accidents of fortune in the creation of a product. once its established, each iteration becomes a steady descent into nothing more than a means to achieve what you had, and define yourself based on unrealistic expectations set by advertising and product research teams.

this problem cannot be fixed, because we would have to stop purchasing the product. we cant stop, because the product is the standard by which we esablish our likes and dislikes, as well as our perception of everything from uniqueness to wealth and success. Put your TV on the curb, download a copy of adblock plus, and in six months this entire article will seem the very definition of the hedonistic treadmill.

Re:yes, yes they did. its what we told them to do. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069633)

this problem cannot be fixed, because we would have to stop purchasing the product. we cant stop, because the product is the standard by which we esablish our likes and dislikes, as well as our perception of everything from uniqueness to wealth and success. Put your TV on the curb, download a copy of adblock plus, and in six months this entire article will seem the very definition of the hedonistic treadmill.

Of course it can be fixed, but not by someone who considers unregulated capitalism to be the only true religion.
Chinas government managed to get the phone manufacturers to use a standard interface for chargers. EU is about to bring cell phone roaming fees down to something reasonable.
The fix is saying: Fine, you can have your monopoly/cartel, but if you behave in a consumer unfriendly way we take half your profits, ktnxbye.

Re:yes, yes they did. its what we told them to do. (2)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 10 months ago | (#45069839)

Put your TV on the curb, download a copy of adblock plus, Ghostery, NoScript, HTTPS Everywhere, TrackMeNot and in six months this entire article will seem the very definition of the hedonistic treadmill.

There, fixed that for you.

This is why I don't use HDMI (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 10 months ago | (#45069417)

I value the freedom to do what I want with what I own so I don't use it. I'm perfectly happy with my DVI displays and will be for years to come.

Re:This is why I don't use HDMI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069545)

and will be for years to come.

Unlikely, as even Dual-Link-DVI is struggling with modern resolutions, and lacks power-saving features. Uncompressed 5.1 channel digital audio is also really nice.

Thankfully, DisplayPort provides it all without the licensing bullshit HDMI has. I really wished it was more wide-spread.

Re:This is why I don't use HDMI (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 10 months ago | (#45069903)

I don't know what you mean by modern resolutions but I'm quite content with my dual-monitor, 1920 x 1080 setup and my graphics card seems to handle it just fine. Display Port also comes with DRM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisplayPort#Digital_Rights_Management_.28DRM.29 [wikipedia.org]

Question (2)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 10 months ago | (#45069521)

Terribly sorry for not RTFA, but when did AMD try to add this to the Linux driver? When was it noticed? When was it corrected? And can I shove this in the face of windows fanboys who say that anyone could submit anything they want to Linux and you don't really know what's in there?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069641)

It's not in the Driver, ATI video cards have required ATI DVI-HDMI adapters for YEARS if you wanted Audio along with the video signal (ever since they supported HD Audio). If you're just plugging into a monitor you can use any adapter you want, if you're plugging it into a TV, you've always needed to use ATI's adapter.

LGPL Open Graphics IP (4, Interesting)

asicsolutions (1481269) | about 10 months ago | (#45069533)

gpl-gpu kickstarter launches tomorrow. A fully LGPL 2D/ 3D graphics accelerator written in Verilog. Currently running in an Arria IIgx. GPLGPU Kickstarter [facebook.com]

Didn't know that. (1)

BLToday (1777712) | about 10 months ago | (#45069581)

I wasn't aware that DVI could carry audio. Of course, most of my available DVI output display doesn't have audio. And if I have audio-out with DVI, I probably also have HDMI. So basically the only time that this is a problem would be if I had a DVI only display with audio and I needed audio.

Re:Didn't know that. (5, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#45069907)

It can't. The complaint is that a non-standard feature is only enabled for known non-standard adapters. The story is flamebait.

HDMI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069621)

People using HDMI get what they deserve...

Especially on computers. Its a specification designed to layer DRM on top of existing specifications (AKA DVI).

If you want a newer interface on your monitor get DP. After all, nearly every monitor on the market has less resolution than 15 year old DVI can support. I think there are literally less than a half dozen monitors (4k) on the market that cannot be driven with a standard DDVI-D port available on just about every video card with a DVI port produced in the last 10 years.

Plus, it has thumbscrews meaning its probably not going to fall out, when you move the monitor stand around.

Other Problems (2)

organgtool (966989) | about 10 months ago | (#45069741)

While I didn't try sound over my third-party DVI-HDMI cable, I did have issues with the open source Radeon driver and these cables. Once Linux booted, the monitor would keep dropping the video signal and then re-establishing it. At first I thought X was in a crash loop, but the keyboard and mouse seemed to remain responsive. Rather than mess around with it, I just used a VGA cable, but that definitely left a sour taste in my mouth and had me longing for the days when cables just shoved whatever data was pushed to them.

Re:Other Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45070069)

While I didn't try sound over my third-party DVI-HDMI cable, I did have issues with the open source Radeon driver and these cables. Once Linux booted, the monitor would keep dropping the video signal and then re-establishing it. At first I thought X was in a crash loop, but the keyboard and mouse seemed to remain responsive. Rather than mess around with it, I just used a VGA cable, but that definitely left a sour taste in my mouth and had me longing for the days when cables just shoved whatever data was pushed to them.

Try again when the new kernel comes out. With all the latest documentation and code dumps, things have gotten much better with every corner of the driver.

Eyefinity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069841)

Did they affect some of the larger cards with Eyefinity? I had so much trouble with those damn cards and adapters.

This doesn't make sense to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45069881)

What is the output on the back of the video card? A DVI port or an HDMI port?

DVI is normally a video-only connection.

The video portion of HDMI is pretty much identical to the video from DVI, so there are many inexpensive adapters & cables with DVI on one end and HDMI on the other. I have a couple, and they work great, but for video only.

I've never seen or heard of DVI that carries audio. Is there a new DVI audio standard that I haven't heard of?

Re:This doesn't make sense to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45070033)

Sounds like the video card has a custom connector that looks like DVI and normally outputs standard DVI video signals.

But in the presence of their custom adapter dongle, it will output a non-standard DVI signal that their custom adapter dongle converts to standard HDMI with video and audio.

The real question is why didn't they just have an HDMI connector on the video card and be done with it. I have a Geforce video card that has both HDMI and DVI ports.

DVI doesn't carry audio anyway right? (3, Informative)

Rhipf (525263) | about 10 months ago | (#45069987)

I guess I'm missing something here. What is the big deal if HDMI audio is turned off when using DVI since DVI doesn't carry an audio signal anyway?

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