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There's No Such Thing as 'Wireless HDMI'

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the that-would-be-a-neat-trick-though dept.

Media 199

An anonymous reader writes "CE Pro magazine interviewed Steve Venuti and Les Chard of HDMI Licensing, LLC to get a preview of all things HDMI at CES. The duo addressed some of the more controversial issues surrounding HDMI, including 'Wireless HDMI' (There's no such thing); Consumer Electronics Control (There will be interoperability); competitor DisplayPort (No traction in CE); and the complications of HDMI ('It is not an HDMI problem. It's a digital issue.')"

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Wireless HDMI is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933616)

Got clippers?

Obviously... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933650)

The submitter has not read all the facts available. [contactlog.net]

Re:Obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933690)

Parent links to a trojan.

MyMiniCity Link, douchebag. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933706)

Go fuck yourself.

Re:Obviously... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933770)

http://shitcicle.myminicity.com/ [myminicity.com]
At least in above link, you know what you're getting. Shitcicle.

Re:Obviously... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21934350)

shit icicle? Is that what you call CmdrTaco's feces-covered cock after he pulls out of Zonk's ass?

"It's a digital issue" (3, Insightful)

Sylos (1073710) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933696)

Yup, that's why we have analog..

Re:"It's a digital issue" (5, Insightful)

djlemma (1053860) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933888)

Too bad we won't have analog much longer..

At least not in the US.
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/digitaltv.html [fcc.gov]

Re:"It's a digital issue" (3, Interesting)

toiletsalmon (309546) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934014)

Eventually the digital signal will be sent into my analog TV via the tuner-box that the government is giving me a $40 coupon for.

Government Subsidized Media Time-shifting FTW :)

Re:"It's a digital issue" (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21935698)

Unfortunately, from the dta2009.gov website FAQ:

Using a Coupon
2. Can I use my coupons to purchase any TV converter box?
No. The government will provide a list of coupon-eligible converter boxes and participating retailers here. You may also ask participating retailers whether TV converter boxes in their stores can be purchased with the $40 government coupon.
...
18. Can coupons be used toward the price of an upgraded converter box (for example, a box that includes a DVR)?
No. Coupons are only valid for eligible converter boxes. The intent of the program is to allow consumers to continue to view TV over-the-air on the same TV they used prior to the transition, not to enable upgrades in technology.
FTL :(

Re:"It's a digital issue" (-1, Offtopic)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936278)

Eventually the digital signal will be sent into my analog TV via the tuner-box that the government is giving me a $40 coupon for.

So the government can't afford universal health care but apparently they can afford to subsidize the purchase of new TV equipment? Geez..

Republicans call their states 'red' and now they are providing social subsidies for TVs. Guess they really are a bunch of communists. 2008 election - thank God it's not Bush.

Re:"It's a digital issue" (2, Informative)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936692)

To be fair now, that's like being upset that someone who says they can't afford to buy you car goes and buys someone else a pair of slippers. $40 doesn't pay for a lot of health care.

Re:"It's a digital issue" (1)

OnlineAlias (828288) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936748)

This issue isn't about subsidizing tv, its about real estate. That real estate is 700 mgz radio spectrum which analog tv uses. Its the last piece of valuable real estate available in the US. The only way the government can sell it is if it kicks everyone off of it by giving them set top boxes.

So how much are the set top boxes to the goverenment? Eh, a 100 million dollars or so. How much is the radio spectrum going to sell for? Eh, up to 20 BILLION. Thats right, B, as in 20 freekin BILLION.

Communism is the very last word that comes to my mind....

Re:"It's a digital issue" There WON'T be bricks... (0)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936056)

But, thar WEEL BE BLOOD. WHen the FCC starts shitting bricks over the backlog of anal log uptake constriction. They can give out all the coupons they want, but there will be those who don't or won't get them, and they'll be cut off. I don't know if they'll be in some place in Tennessee or the Ozarks, but if they get their hands on congress, thar will be blood... It'll be crude, but it'll be red...

Wireless HDMI is real (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933700)

Somewhere out there, Wireless HDMI says there is no such thing as YOU!

Wait a second, I am still thinking, therefore I still am. Or is that just what the HDMI wants me to think? If I'm still thinking, that is. Wait a second, I am still thinking, therefore... :(

Re:Wireless HDMI is real (2, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933910)

It's called Soviet Russia.

Re:Wireless HDMI is real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21935688)

Soviet Russia called, it's for YOU.

Bah humbug (4, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933704)

Blatant lies like It is not an HDMI problem. It's a digital issue make me want to avoid HDMI like the plague. I'd like to replace my 22 year-old TV and rubbish VHS VCR with a digital system, but I've been putting it off for three years now because I can't bring myself to expend the time and headaches involved in figuring out a system that works.

Re:Bah humbug (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933784)

You forget the DRM issue as well. With a VCR, you could move your recorded show from one room to the next by taking out the tape. Unlike older analog and digital cables, HDMI 1.3 integrates DRM into the design.

Re:Bah humbug (4, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933936)

I think it's reasonable to say that, supposedly there are plenty of devices that aren't really HDMI compliant electrically, being a bit out of spec. Or if you get a bum cable, then maybe you're going to have problems. I am disappointed that they didn't make the connector more positive, most connector designs hold the cable in a bit better, and the VGA and DVI cable had screws. But it's done pretty well for me there too.

Personally, I don't think HDMI problems are as big of a deal as people make it out to be. Remember the "Internet Bullhorn Effect", which causes people to think problems are bigger than they really are. I have a 50ft HDMI cable between my HD player and my projector and have had zero problems. I also only paid $55 for the cable too.

Re:Bah humbug (4, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934222)

If the devices aren't compliant, they shouldn't be sold as such. Testing for compliance and certifying devices as compliant would be the logical role of the licensing agency. They shouldn't let people put the HDMI name on something if it doesn't work. As such, it certainly is their fault that these devices don't interoperate properly. And if the standard is so complicated that they can't actually test for compliance, then that's their fault too.

Re:Bah humbug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21936366)

I remember PCI "plugfests" at the PCI SIG meetings, where vendors of PCI products would go from room to room with PC vendors and test their products for compatibility.

This was a great way to check a far greater number of devices together than otherwise would be possible.

It was also a great way to get contacts at companies that you might not connect with any other way.

It seems like this might work well for the HDMI folks as well.

Re:Bah humbug (4, Funny)

el americano (799629) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934858)

I also only paid $55 for the cable too.

That's more than I've ever paid for a cable, but you seem to feel that you got a bargain. I guess you have drunk the Kool-Aid.

Re:Bah humbug (2)

uabtodd (1066122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935024)

you must not have read the part about it being a 50 foot cable. $1.10 per foot is pretty freaking cheap for HDMI, compared to the $50+ stores like Best Buy want for a little 3 or 6 foot cable.

Re:Bah humbug (5, Interesting)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935508)

Nobody in their right mind buys cables at places like Best Buy unless they need the cable right now. Things like that are high markup items, where the stores more than make up for the couple of dollars they shave off the suggested retail of whatever electronics box is on sale this week.

One of my favorite places to order cables, Microbarn, sells 50 foot HDMI cables for $26.99, qty one. Cheaper if you're buying a bunch. The main cost in HDMI cables is the connectors, (a 6 foot HDMI cable at Microbarn is $6, or only $4 for nickel plated connectors), partly due to licensing costs, but wire is cheap.

Re:Bah humbug (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936222)

what crack are you smoking that makes you think copper wiring is cheap?

Re:Bah humbug (2, Insightful)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936402)

My original: "but wire is cheap."

Your strawman: "you think copper wiring is cheap"

I think you need to lay off the crack yourself, it's apparently affecting your reading comprehension skills.

Re:Bah humbug (1)

reezle (239894) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935046)

For a 50ft cable, that sound like a pretty good price to me.
I've paid $30 for the same type of cable in the 8-10' range. (and have seen the same going for over $100 with gold plated contacts, etc)

Re:Bah humbug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21935238)

You've paid less than $55 for a 50ft HDMI cable?? Where the hell do you shop?!?

Re:Bah humbug (1)

aquarajustin (1070708) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935692)

I bet it was monoprice! I got two 25' HDMI cables for $60.

Re:Bah humbug (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935312)

That's more than I've ever paid for a cable

Probably because you've never needed a 15m cable.

Re:Bah humbug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21935152)

I bought a 25-foot HDMI cable for ~$12 (used a $10 off purchases over $20 coupon at an online store). Worked equal to the 5-foot HDMI cable that came with the player. And my TV has the HDMI ports mounted facing down. No problem materialized with the physical connection. Only thing I had to do unusual for the whole setup was press and hold the arrow buttons on the remote for the TV to get rid of a green vertical line on the right side of the television screen. Apparently the image was not completely centered and these green lines (that can be on the left or right side) are actually frequency or refresh data.

Re:Bah humbug (4, Interesting)

pvera (250260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935222)

The HDMI compliance issue is very real.

1.My first attempt at purchasing an HDTV LCD (Westinghouse) drove me nuts because even if it was advertised as HDMI, it would not pass sound. A week later it died, so I returned it.

2. My second and third attempts (Magnavox and Memorex, both 19") worked fine with our two Xbox 360s and our HDMI upscaling DVD players.

3. I swapped the 19" Memorex for a 32" Olevia. It worked fine with the HDMI upscaling DVD players but the Xbox 360s could not get a secure link. That TV is still with us, with the 360 connected to it with component cables, my son doesn't mind. After very little research I found dozens of documented cases of people that couldn't get the 360 to connect to that specific 32" Olevia model. Olevia TVs have a USB port for firmware updates, but to date there is no firmware update for that specific model.

4. I swapped the 19" Magnavox with a 37" Olevia, which has dual inputs for everything. Both the 360 and the HDMI upscaling DVD players connected at the same (same HDMI cables that failed with the 32" Olevia) and everything works beautifully.

5. I also noticed a separate issue with the upscaling DVD players that we were using (Philips, we got them for about $55 at Target right before Xmas). Whenever we switched inputs and tried to go back to that HDMI channel, it would not recognize the link and forced us to restart the DVD player. The 360 never had that issue with the five TVs we have tried to date.

To add insult to injury, those cables are expensive if you buy them at retail. A friend just picked an upscaling DVD player with HDMI at Walmart last night for less than $40, then almost flipped when he saw that the cable would cost almost the same.

Re:Bah humbug (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936384)

I must say yours is absolutely a case of 'you get what you pay for' and going with the lowest end choices for LCD HDTVs was the first problem. Stop buying tvs from Walmart and Target (or Tiger Direct's cheapest crap) and chances are you will get something that was built with enough quality control involved to often avoid damaged hardware and inconsistent hdmi compliance.

Anyone paying $40 for a fun of the mill HDMI cable is nuts. http://www.microbarn.com/details.aspx?rid=102015 [microbarn.com]

Cheers.

50 feet? (1, Flamebait)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936292)

Last I checked and tested the longest a *COMPLIANT AND CERTIFIED* HDMI cable could go was 40 feet. Anything further without increasing the thickness of the wires caused massive problems, and that's across HDMI 1.2 and 1.3 spec.

So where the fuck did you buy your 50 foot cable?

http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/how-long-can-hdmi-run.htm [bluejeanscable.com]

Re:Bah humbug (5, Informative)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936330)

I have a 50' HDMI cable too. My components are in a cabinet in the front corner, and the TV is mounted on the back wall. Cable has to go down through the basement.

Here's the problem. When you go long, the cable diameter increases as the wire size increases. My cable is 1/2" in diameter. It doesn't bend well, and you can't do much of a bend by the connector due to stresses. This makes it a bitch to plug in to the set.

HDMI sucks. Pro gear doesn't use it, it uses a HD version of SDI which only uses coax cables and has a MUCH longer distance capability without repeaters. Love your HDMI all you want. I hate it with a passion.

I want optical. Optical is future proof and doesn't have a distance issue (within reason.) It uses standard connectors which are MUCH easier to terminate than they used to be. It isn't reasonable to terminate your own HDMI cables in any case, so concerns about termination are moot. Prebuilt optical cables over a certain length are less expensive than HDMI too. Thinner, better capacity, etc.

The HDMI folks can take their spec and shove it. Idiots.

Re:Bah humbug (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936472)

Cheers to you man, looks like you've run into all the same issues I have over the last few years. That's why we standardized on SDI here at work. Optical cabling is great, we do all of our long range distro with it breaking out to SDI at both ends.

In short, HDMI sucks, the cables die easy, they come out easy, and all the weird DRM screws with everything in the home although I don't have that problem in the HD video production world. /p.

Re:Bah humbug (4, Informative)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934150)

Well, I just bought myself an LCD TV. 37" size. It's got two HDMI connectors on the back which are idling.

My set-top box is an older one, so I used an expensive SCART cable to route the vid to the TV. This provides a nice enough image, although some programs appear to be a bit pixelated. This was already the case on my 29" CRT though. The image quality however, is very nice. All audio runs through my receiver, this includes the Set-top box.

Then I connected my Wii and my DVD player to my receiver using component video, which is ample for support of 720p (or in the case of both devices, the 480p they provide). Now the image quality is still very nice, and the sound also gets routed (optical from DVD, stereo-jacks-to-Dolby-PLII for the Wii) through my trusty receiver.

As far as the Laptop is concerned, I connect that with a standard issue VGA cable to the VGA input connector on the back. The TV gets seen by the system, and images are crisp and clear at 1366x768 resolution. Possibly, my laptop gives the best image quality using that connection. Cable costs 5 Euros at the local HW store. Sound gets (again) routed through my trusty receiver.

You can tell me that none of this is a "true HD" setup because I "should be using HDMI with an HD DVD player at 1080p", but in the mean time I'm watching TV and playing games and movies on a nice size screen.

What I'm trying to say with all of this is that HDMI doesn't even need to enter the picture if you want a flat screen and a DVD player. 25 Dollar component-to-component cables will do you fine on the back of a normal DVD player. I promise.

Re:Bah humbug (2, Interesting)

kherr (602366) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934186)

This is one of the main reasons I'm still using component video for my HD. Okay, mostly I have an early set that has no HDMI, but I've yet to rely on HDMI for anything. I've recently added a TiVo HD and Blu-ray player to my component video world, so you can get current HD gear without diving into HDMI. And no HDCP worries. I know I run the risk of getting hurt by that, but I think I'll get years of HD enjoyment before HDCP becomes a show-stopper (pun intended). And with any luck the DRM problem will become more difficult than it's worth, like we're seeing with music.

I'm sure the HDMI interop problems aren't as nasty as just a couple years ago, but it's been astounding how fragile the HDMI universe has appeared. For example, the Apple TV forum is peppered with people having difficulty getting TVs working with the Apple TV via HDMI. I just hooked up via component and had no worries. And what happens with HDMI 1.1 devices when all of a sudden everyone demands HDMI 1.3? That really is a "digital issue" because it's far too easy for the industry to "improve" the spec and then orphan a bunch of older hardware.

Re:Bah humbug (1)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934782)

"Going digital" with HDMI isn't necessary for a high-quality video setup. Quality TVs today still come with analog inputs. A DVD player connected to a good TV with component cables or even S-video would be worlds better than a rickety old VHS. No HDMI necessary. No blu-ray/HD-DVD. No DRM in the signal chain.

What's a "digital issue?" There were none with CDs (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935626)

And why should there be such a thing as a "digital issue?"

I don't remember any "modulation issues" when FM radio was introduced. You just bought the damn radio and it worked, except the sound was better than AM.

I don't remember any "magnetic issues" when cassettes were introduced. You just bought the damn cassette player and it worked, except the sound wasn't quite as good as LPs... but the cassettes were compact and there weren't any ticks, pops, or scratches.

And for that matter I don't remember any "digital issues" when CDs were introduced. You just bought the damn CD player and it worked, except that the sound was better then on cassettes. (And for 98% of all ears on 98% of all recordings in 98% of all real-world consumer situations, it was much better than LPs, too).

If the customer is using HDMI and having "issues," then they're HDMI issues.

Re:Bah humbug (1)

koalapeck (1137045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935822)

What exactly do you mean by a system that "works"? I have HDMI on most of my components (TV, PS3, Denon AVR-3806, HD DVR), and it works exactly the way it's supposed to.

Re:Bah humbug (1)

sledd_1 (464094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936182)

It's clearly a bandwidth issue. It's too bad that Bluetooth was such a ridiculous bust for usability. I'd like to give Wifi a shot... ...but something so sophisticated may not be necessary. I have fantastic results with my Rocketfish gadget, which uses 2.4 GHz to send sound to my rear home theater speakers.

terrible connector (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933728)

Are they gonna fix the issue of a limp friction-fit connector at the back of enormous TVs trying to hold back the weight of a thick cable? Who thought that one up? It's hideous.

Re:terrible connector (2, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934082)

Use the big cable tie at the back of [pretty much every] TV like that, it lessens the strain by orders of magnitude. I've never had a HDMI cable fall out, or even wiggle out, even on vertical-down oriented connectors.

Re:terrible connector (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934308)

It's still lame though, considering what HDMI is replacing. I shouldn't need to strain-relief a connector just to keep it from falling out.

Re:terrible connector (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934368)

Yes, despite my previous reply, "IAWTC". :)

Re:terrible connector (1)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934910)

I Am World Trade Center [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:terrible connector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21935434)

It Ain't Worth The Custard.

Re:terrible connector (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934400)

I'm sure the reason for the smaller connector is so a) it takes up less space on the back panels of devices and b) so that it can pass through tight spaces as are common in in-wall installations and cabinets. Regular DVI connectors would be a pain.

Still, would have been nice if it had been done over CAT6 (10Gb/s). 1080p is only about 3Gbps right? More compact, more secure connector, cheaper wire, and field-crimpable.

Re:terrible connector (3, Funny)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935708)

You have a 40' TV and your concerned about the plugs size?

nice connector (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934408)

I don't see this as a problem at all; you shouldn't be putting so much strain on your connector that you need screws to hold it in. If you have a long, heavy cable hanging from the back of your TV, hold it in place with a cable clip so that there is no strain on the connector at all. I much prefer small, friction-based connectors to the old VGA and DVI style connectors.

Re:nice connector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21935030)

That's because you're crazy.

Re:nice connector (1)

lhorn (528432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935424)

Much better to take the trouble to fit a cable-tie than having a wonky connector - especially since the system is designed to detect a minute cable break and need renegotiation to set up the secure channel. This seems to require power cycling in some devices.

Re:terrible connector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21936036)

Monster Cable - that's who. The connector was fine until the deep-pocketed cable manufacturers decided to bring their game to the digital world and start selling cables as thick as a telephone pole to the average braindead consumer. Never mind the fact that it's digital; bigger is better, right?

Most of the problems ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933782)

Come from two factors of the digital domain ...

1. Everyone has their own standard.

2. DRM used to stop people (*) from viewing/listening to content.

Sadly I can't get why people are (*) surprised when this includes legitimate users.

Why would it be so hard to pipe some form of RGB/YUV or PCM data over a serial bus is beyond me ... That said, I don't see the compelling need for 1900x1400 [or whatever it is] HD images for HOME use. Hate to break it to ya, but "House" is as much a goof in 720x480 as he is in HD.

Re:Most of the problems ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933988)

Hate to break it to ya, but "House" is as much a goof in 720x480 as he is in HD.

Although he was more of a goof when he was Prince George.

Re:Most of the problems ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934016)

720x480? Hell, he's just as big a goof in NTSC.

Re:Most of the problems ... (2, Funny)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935492)

Dr Cameron looks better in HD.

what it is (5, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933818)

Would it be too much trouble for the submitter to explain what the acronym HDMI stands for, or at least to link [wikipedia.org] to the WP article? Even after reading the WP article, I don't really know much about it.

Since it's a device for imposing DRM, there's presumably some mechanism for forcing the user to buy and use it. What is the mechanism? What types of equipment require it? The closest the WP article comes to discussing it seems to be this: "Both introduced in 2006, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD offer new high-fidelity audio features that require HDMI for best results." Well, I'm still in the dark. What does "best results" mean? What are your results like if you don't use it?

Another thing I don't understand is how they think this kind of hardware-based DRM can work. All it takes is one hardware hacker to figure out how to tap in to some unencrypted signals, e.g., by connecting onto circuit boards. Once there's a single device that can be hacked by a publicly known procedure, every DRM'd movie out there can be transcoded into a non-DRM'd format.

One interesting sentence from the WP article: "PCs with hardware HDMI output may require software support from Operating Systems such as Windows Vista." So does this mean that you can't use the technology on a Mac, for example? I'm also curious whether any manufacturers are actually making mobos or video cards with hdmi connectors on them.

And how does this fit in with the apparently overwhelming recent trend away from DRM in music? Is it really believable that movies will go the other way?

Re:what it is (4, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933882)

And how does this fit in with the apparently overwhelming recent trend away from DRM in music? Is it really believable that movies will go the other way?

Movies have been copy protected for a long time. VHS had Macrovision, DVD had CSS and HD formats have AACS. They've all been broken though.

HDMI's copy protection has been broken, it's actually the weak point in the chain, HDCP strippers are available. and the encryption is much simpler than what the HD movies have.

Re:what it is (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933896)

its an acronym for: screwing over the consumer yet again via putting DRM in hardware. Don't forget how much microsoft will downrate the quality of things if they don't support microsoft's DRM using vista over HDMI - basically you cant watch high def with netflix (remember that recently?).

Between HDMI, Bluray, and HD-DVD, consumers have gotten the shaft. The only use for HDMI is to go from your computer to your TV (which is about the only way to get quality out of the HDMI). If I recall correct, HDMI stands for high definition multimedia interface [wikipedia.org] . I would suggest avoiding any forms of HDMI and any current form of high def, because although it looks nice its just a political powerplay by major media companies.

You are correct that things that require HDMI over windows as mentioned above, are basically not supported on anything else. So if you are new to the "consumers are criminals" as being the motto of the media company, I welcome you as you are no longer outside of that loop.

Re:what it is (5, Informative)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933964)

Since it's a device for imposing DRM, there's presumably some mechanism for forcing the user to buy and use it. What is the mechanism? What types of equipment require it?

HDMI is only a link-level protocol, electrical, cable and plug/jack specification much like 100BaseTX. HDCP is the actual DRM introduced along with HDMI and it has been adopted by both DVI and DisplayPort.

HDCP (be it over HDMI, DVI or DisplayPort) is only required for playing back DRM-infested media at full resolution on DRM-infested OSes like Vista.

Re:what it is (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936322)

HDCP (be it over HDMI, DVI or DisplayPort) is only required for playing back DRM-infested media at full resolution on DRM-infested OSes like Vista.
Or for playing it on any HD-DVD/Blu-ray player and HD TV for a disc that stipulates that it requires it. The studios have promised not to switch on that requirement on discs they release until 2009, but that's hardly iron-clad.

Incidentally, Vista only requires HDCP because it was that or not be able to play "DRM-infested" media at full resolution. While it would have been nice for MS to have taken that fight for us, given they back one of the formats it was never very likely.

Re:what it is (1, Funny)

Teun (17872) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933994)

I'm a bit confused by your question in the light of your /. ID.
You ought to be old enough to have read previous discussions about HDMI and DRM and not too old like from the era of valve amplifiers.

Just curious :)

Re:what it is (5, Informative)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934028)

HDMI is DVI video + digital audio + a DRM system called HDCP (High-bandwidth digital copy protection). HDMI cables have a different pin-out than traditional DVI connectors, but there are adapters that can take one to the other. The DRM system is not required unless the media requires it (more on this below). So, for example, I have my home theater PC connected to my HDTV via a DVI->HDMI cable, and it works just fine. The digital audio on HDMI has the ability to transmit faster than the old S/PDIF system, but other than that it's pretty straight forward.

The HDCP DRM functions by way of a system called the image constraint token. You can plug an HD-DVD or blu-ray player into a tv via analog component (RGB), but the manufacturers of those discs have the ability to activate the image constraint system on the disc if they wish. Unless the player reports that it's connected via HDMI (and thus has the ability to encrypt the signal), the output resolution on the video is reduced to 1/4th the original (960x540 vs. 1920x1080). As far as I know, no disc currently shipping implements the constraint token, and the studios stated that they planned to hold off on activating it until 2009.

In the computer world, the OS as well as your computer hardware has to support the system if you want to playback video that requires HDCP encryption for full resolution. Many video card manufacturers are currently shipping cards with DVI that has HDCP capability, but you'll need Vista to enable it as far as I know. You'll also need a monitor or television with HDCP support. This usually means purchasing a monitor with HDMI inputs, but there are many that use DVI and support HDCP over DVI. One manufacturer I know of, ASUS, is currently shipping a mainboard based on the NForce chipset that has an HDMI output that actually combines the onboard video and audio into the single cable, but for everyone else you'll generally have to run the audio over coaxial or optical digital and the video over HDCP-eqipped DVI or an HDMI connection that isn't transmitting audio.

The comical part, of course, is that they've spent so much time locking down the video stream when it's far more likely that people will crack all of the DRM at the disc level. HD-DVD has already been mostly compromised, and Blu-Ray discs have an extra level of DRM that hasn't yet been implemented but is theoretically supported in all Blu-ray player. Of course, I'm sure it will be just as foolproof as all the other DRM systems...

At the end of the day, the principle complaint that people have with HDMI is that the need to handshake for encryption sometimes gets screwed up, especially when switching inputs. So, for example, most people who plug their PS3 straight into the TV do fine, but if you plug it into an audio receiver and plug the receiver into the TV, people may experience a blank screen when they switch back to the PS3 input because the system is convinced that the link has been broken. In this situation, you have to go unplug and replug the HDMI cable to re-establish the link and get your video signal back. Highly annoying, but nothing like the ridiculous "We're closing our online video store so your purchases are now worthless because they can no longer be authenticated." In my opinion, the benefits of the single cable digital audio+video outweigh the minor and occasional annoyance, although it sucks that the annoyance only exists because of the asinine requirement for DRM on the cable.

Re:what it is (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21934252)

Time to time I wonder why I keep reading /.. Thank you for reminding me about that -- and thanks for the answer.

So they plan to spring the trap in 2009? (2, Interesting)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934290)

The HDCP DRM functions by way of a system called the image constraint token. You can plug an HD-DVD or blu-ray player into a tv via analog component (RGB), but the manufacturers of those discs have the ability to activate the image constraint system on the disc if they wish. Unless the player reports that it's connected via HDMI (and thus has the ability to encrypt the signal), the output resolution on the video is reduced to 1/4th the original (960x540 vs. 1920x1080). As far as I know, no disc currently shipping implements the constraint token, and the studios stated that they planned to hold off on activating it until 2009.

This is the important part, IMHO. They intend to wait until people have "upgraded" to HDMI before they spring the DRM trap on them. Then again, I'm sure that the pirate copies won't contain any image constraint tokens.

Just what the hell kind of business are they running when "thieves" treat their customers better?

Re:what it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21935026)

> As far as I know, no disc currently shipping implements the constraint token, and the studios stated that they planned to hold off on activating it until 2009.

"[...] an unofficial agreement between film studios and electronics manufacturers to not use ICT until 2010 - 2012. However, some titles have already been released that apply ICT." [wikipedia.org] (ICT = Image Constraint Token)

Re:what it is (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935286)

Ed Felten reviewed the HDCP system when it first came out. His conclusion: "A much more plausible answer is that HDCP encryption exists only as a hook on which to hang lawsuits".

http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1004 [freedom-to-tinker.com]
http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1005 [freedom-to-tinker.com]
http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1006 [freedom-to-tinker.com]
http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1007 [freedom-to-tinker.com]

Re:what it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21935870)

both waffles and what are closed to registration at the moment. change your sig and hang out in the IRC channels.

Re:what it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21936466)

Blu-Ray discs have an extra level of DRM that hasn't yet been implemented but is theoretically supported in all Blu-ray player.
Small point - the extra level of DRM, BD+, has been enabled in new releases from Fox at least.

Re:what it is (1)

asc99c (938635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934052)

Just to point out, HDMI (high def multimedia interface) itself does not contain or require DRM. HDMI is pretty much the DVI standard with support for sending audio over the same cable, and a much smaller connector. The DRM scheme that goes with it is HDCP (high def copy protection). PCs have been built with HDMI for a while now. I don't believe HDMI output requires any special software support, but the HDCP bit might. I got a nVidia 7300 for my media centre which has an HDMI port (I'm not sure if it supports HDCP, I'm fairly sure it's not using it). I therefore use an un-DRMed HDMI link between the PC and the TV. I'd have been almost as happy with DVI, but then I'd need another cable for the audio. Hardware wise, there's nothing wrong with HDMI - it's a fast digital link for audio and video. Blu-Ray also doesn't seem to require DRM contrary to all the reports I've seen. The Planet Earth Blu-Ray discs I have (from the BBC) don't seem to be DRMed up, and they definitely are region-free. Unfortunately the films I have on Blu-Ray are fully DRMed and only playable on my PS3 :(

Re:what it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21934954)

HDMI 1.3 requires HDCP be included. Intel cash bonanza, since they designed the DRM for HDCP.

Re:what it is (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934456)

Would it be too much trouble for the submitter to explain what the acronym HDMI stands for, or at least to link to the WP article?

Normally I'm all for spelling out acronyms, but this is one of those times when it really isn't going to help. Of course, a link or a brief explanation of what HDMI is wouldn't have hurt.

Re:what it is (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936610)

Since I didn't see anyone else mention it, almost any DVI-capable video card with HDCP can output DRM'd HD media to any capable display (or if the card isn't HDCP compatible, it can output SD or DRM-free). The reason for this is that HDMI is completely compatible with DVI-D (single link) cable, and is directly convertible with only a simple pin conversion part (nearly the size of a DVI to VGA adapter).

Obviously, audio isn't transmitted over this link, and it isn't compatible with a VGA-only card.

CES is the new LinuxWorld (0, Offtopic)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933828)

Amazing how big CES has gotten in the last 7 years. Now it's the center of the universe. Don't forget to mention DVR for OCAP.

Re:CES is the new LinuxWorld (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933916)

Amazing how big CES has gotten in the last 7 years. Now it's the center of the universe. Don't forget to mention DVR for OCAP.

Don't know if you meant that as sarcasm, but for at least 15 years, I've always waited until after the January CES to make any large tech purchases... Not because I always want the cutting edge (in fact, I usually avoid most of the newest of the new at the CES), but because it drives the price of the last year's toys over a cliff.

Or looked at a bit more cynically - It happens after the holiday season for a reason. ;-)

It *IS* an HDMI problem. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934020)

Very obviously! If there were no DRM in HDMI, there would be no problem!!! It just pisses me off because essentially they are saying: "If we opened it up we would have no way to lock in consumers and guarantee ourselves a profit in a non-competitive field. So we are just going to screw the consumers instead."

Re:It *IS* an HDMI problem. (1)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934850)

It just pisses me off because essentially they are saying: "If we opened it up we would have no way to lock in consumers and guarantee ourselves a profit in a non-competitive field. So we are just going to screw the consumers instead."

And we all know average consumers lack the knowledge or technical resources to copy the stuff (particularly from VGA/DVI/HDMI sources) in the first place and for pirates, it is always a simple matter of "break once, copy everywhere" that only delays things by a few hours or days at most.

Between actual lost sales to piracy (people who really want/need the media/software but download instead of buying) and the millions companies pour into DRM, I seriously wonder whether or not DRM pays for itself. In any case, HDCP today is completely irrelevant: with AACS broken, the raw media data is a far more desirable source than decoded and pre/post-processed raw data on the display link.

Re:It *IS* an HDMI problem. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935038)

Lost sales to piracy have been grossly exaggerated. And the RIAA and MPAA have admitted that their lawsuits have been a money sinkhole, not a source. If they spent the same effort on modern distribution of products people wanted, at a price people thought was fair, this problem would cease to exist. Instead, they have done little but try to bolster their old, outdated business models with legislation, litigation, DRM and other restrictions.

Re:It *IS* an HDMI problem. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935068)

I should mention that the market is finally forcing them to do that (get on the drm-free, downloadable tunes bandwagon) anyway... it was inevitable. The only remarkable thing is that it took them so long to figure that out. Resistance is NOT futile... Now I wonder how long it will take them to figure out the same thing for video. The writing is right there on the wall, in big print! How long will it take them to read it?

In other news... (5, Insightful)

rhizome (115711) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934100)

Industrialists say smog isn't a pollution problem, it's an air problem.

News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21934178)

Since when ./ started posting news about things that does not exist or newer should have existed?

No such thing as wireless anything (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21934208)

I mean "wireless" routers have power cords and cat 5 plugs. And wires run to radio transmitters and usb receivers run to "wireless" keyboards and mice.

And don't get me started with all those wires and traces on circuit boards and such.

The whole wireless thing is a fraud, if you ask me.

Headline Misleading As Always (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21934306)

What he actually said was nothing more than a bitching about a technicality in terminology.

"Wireless HDMI"

"There is no such thing," Shard says, noting that the moniker is "misleading" because it suggests the technology is standardized through the HDMI camp. "Basically it means that there's HDMI on one end and a wireless link on the other. ... We asked them to start calling it wireless for HDMI."

10.2Gbps Wireless? (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934310)

HDMI bandwidth is 10.2Gbps [wikipedia.org] synchronous (ie. not packet switched). 10Gbps (theoretical max) wired ethernet therefore won't even do it, not with a single cable. Is there any wireless protocol that could deliver HDMI data without loss, even using multiple channels (if properly supported)?

Re:10.2Gbps Wireless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21934546)

HD content will be distributed in compressed form.

Think DLNA & DTCP

Re:10.2Gbps Wireless? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934856)

Well, at 50:1 H.264 would give 204Mbps, so Gb-e could pump that over a wire. But where's a wireless protocol for 204Mbps? Maybe 802.11g over multiple simul channels...

Re:10.2Gbps Wireless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21935622)

But where's a wireless protocol for 204Mbps?
http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?QuickLinx=4CSG [dabs.com]
Allegedly.

Re:10.2Gbps Wireless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21935300)

Is over the air HD broadcast already a wireless protocol? :P

Just need the rabbit ear on the TV and a HD transmitter. Problems solved.
Why make things more complicated than it is technically needed.

Also you need to hook up power and speakers to your home entertainment system or have they all gone wireless while I dozzed off reading this?

Re:10.2Gbps Wireless? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935596)

Yes. But a channel only provides about 24MB/s (YMMV in different countries. This is UK DVB using 64 QAM).

PulseLINK has wireless HDMI (shhhh dont tell TFAA) (1)

JohnnyComeLately (725958) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935328)

(TFAA meaning The Freakin Article's Author).PulseLINK announced wireless HDMI with full HD content [pulse-link.com] and is showing it at CES. They also use similar technology to send 4 simultaneous HD streams (audio + video) along side Gigabit Ethernet (at each end) via conventional coax (assuming RG-6). So, without re-wiring your home, you can have Gigabit Ethernet and 4 HD feeds anywhere there's a coax drop. It also passes through normal splitters and doesn't interfere with conventional TVs hooked to coax, so you don't have to swap out all your coax wall plates with something that strips out the signal.


The assertion "it's not wireless HDMI" is, IMHO, intentionally misleading. Technically, using their logic there is no HDMI because you could equally say, "Well, there's a possibility today's physical cable won't pass whatever standards they approve". To me it's retarded. You're building DRM into the cable? I'm not sure the Home Integration Market (the guys who specialize in big dollar home theater jobs in really nice houses) realize the implications down the road. Your really nice in home modulator, etc, may become obsolete when new DRM-expectant devices don't see "the secret code" and shut down any content they don't recognize. One of the other posts on here did a good job explaining the impact, using the example of plugging your PS3 through a receiver to a projector. I do just that with my XBOX360. I send it through my Denon high-end receiver. The 360 content isn't touched, but the DVD (standard def) input, and VHR player are upscaled and sent out the single Component Output for the projector. In other words, I use my receiver to switch between inputs to the single, component input of the projector.

Re:10.2Gbps Wireless? (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935364)

I'm sure we could come up with something, but the energy density would be so high you'd have to tell people not to stand in the invisible beam.

who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21934414)

linux is STILL for fags

HDMI Licensing, LLC? (2, Interesting)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934904)

HDMI Licensing, LLC

This is perhaps unrelated to the original purpose of the thread, but HDMI Licensing, LLC? So there's a whole company whose purpose is just to license the HDMI Connector? Well, they're not doing a good job, because it's all but impossible to find HDMI to HDMI connectors at most stores.

More than that, has anyone heard of an RCA Cable Licensing LLC? A cursory search of the internet doesn't yield any attempts by RCA to control dissemination of the now ubiquitous cable. Perhaps HDMI doesn't need a whole company....

Re:HDMI Licensing, LLC? (1)

JohnnyComeLately (725958) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935560)

HDMI is a proprietary plug, whereas the RCA, aka phono, plug wasn't (isn't). They purposely made it a closed, proprietary format so that they could charge for licensing, etc. It's really an end game for the DRM goals that large corporations are hoping allow them to totally lock content, IMHO. Crack your player? Cool, but the TV won't display the video because your HDMI signal doesn't include the "flag", which says you paid for the content. Have a consumer modulator (e.g. you can see a camera over the front door on channel 125 from any TV)? Ooops, can't use it unless they paid the $$$ for the HDMI license to say, "This content is OK".

I half think they would somehow build DRM into prescription glasses if there was a technical way to do it and then make it look like a "charitable act".

FREE GLASSES* (must subscribe to DRM-enable subscription for $10 a month, 24 month minimum with a $500 early drop out fee).

Re:HDMI Licensing, LLC? (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935746)

it's all but impossible to find HDMI to HDMI connectors at most stores.

Try Microbarn [microbarn.com] , unless you absolutely hate ordering online. I have no connection with them beyond being an occasional (and satisfied) customer. Good prices for all things cable, IMHO. (They sell other stuff too, but so far I've only bought cables from them.)

No, the problem *IS* HDMI (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21935824)

If the morons who designed it had any experience with actual AV equipment, they would have copied HD-SDI [wikipedia.org] instead of DVI [wikipedia.org] .

HD-SDI lets you have 100m runs over standard 75ohm cable, terminated in standard BNC connectors.

Compared to HDMI or DVI which can't be terminated, so it can't be run through walls, and running it through a wall would probably exceed the maximum run anyway. The only way to make a long DVI run is to use expensive extenders [gefen.com] that require power on either side. And even then

If the guys who designed HDMI had copied HD-SDI instead, there would be no home theater installation issues.

dom

Why does everyong care so much about HDMI? (2, Informative)

DrBuzzo (913503) | more than 6 years ago | (#21936008)

I never understood what the hell the big deal is. Every new HDMI product seems to get way more attention than it deserves. The gadget blogs all have an orgasm every time a product comes out with HDMI and there's always so much talk like "RUMOR: New Generation of XBox360 Will have HDMI standard!" or "AMD Confirms new video cards will feature HDMI output" or "New monitors from Dell now have HDMI connector." The way it's talked about you'd think it were something amazing or a new feature that would dramatically effect the picture quality and the overall experience. They make it sound like people are standing in line at 4 AM wetting their pants to be the first to get the new "Product X Now with HDMI."

Lets get something straight here. HDMI is the same god damned thing as DVI. (At least it's the same as DVI-D, as opposed to DVI-A, which is really just VGA using a DVI connector). They're just a different connector, but the same electrically. If you want to drive a dvi monitor with an hdmi source or vice-verse you just need a stupid adapter you can get online for under $10. The only issue is that some older DVI monitors might not support DRM and thus if the source mandates it you'll end up with downresing or no video at all. Of course, DRM is always a bastard like that so you have to expect it.

The only thing HDMI gets you is a crappy connector and it carries audio as well as video. Whoopy-freakin-doo! You don't have to have two wires now you just need one for both audio and video! That's hardly that exciting. Really, if you want everyone to envy you for your HDMI video card, just get a freakin adapter for your DVI video card and toslink sound card and there ya go!

Oh yeah... and there are wireless extenders for DVI and therefore HDMI, but the reason they're a problem is that the uncompressed high resolution video stream is so huge that it would max out most wireless methods. Thus they have to use ridiculously high frequency microwaves or IR or something, which means it cannot go through walls or around corners and it has limited range. Oh well.
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