Only 6 years after it was announced, HDMI Alt Mode is going the way of the dodo. Designed to allow HDMI output from something other than a traditional HDMI port, HDMI Alt Mode was undercut by dominant DisplayPort Alt Mode, which had released 2 years prior. HDMI Licensing Administrator (HDMI LA) spoke to NotebookCheck at CES earlier this month, and according to the publication, there will be no adaptors going forward that support the HDMI Alt Mode over USB.
“According to HDMI LA, there are simply no more uses for Alt Mode,” says NotebookCheck’s report. “One of the reasons is that companies like Apple have begun putting HDMI ports on their products again. HDMI Alt Mode also no longer offers any advantages. As a result, the specification will not receive any further updates. This means an HDMI output has to come from somewhere else on a laptop.”
HDMI LA went out to state that a labelling system is under development for certified HDMI adaptors to help users recognize when USB-C to HDMI will function properly. Currently, this system is only in place for cables, but not adaptors.
HDMI Alt Mode never seemed to catch on with either the public or the industry, with HDMI LA stating that they are unaware if a single adaptor was ever manufactured. As NotebookCheck points out, this is a silver lining for the public, as it means that there will be no risk of consumers being stuck with an adaptor that doesn’t work with USB-C ports that support DisplayPort Alt Mode.