July 1, 2022

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More power for long cables straight from the source

From Oliver Jaeger
The HDMI Licensing Officer is reporting a new HDMI 2.1a feature, HDMI Cable Power. Longer HDMI 2.1 cables should take advantage of this in particular, since more power is supplied from the source device connection when the standard is supported, with no additional power connections required.

The longer the HDMI 2.1 cable, the greater the potential for stability issues and a smooth connection cannot always be guaranteed. To counter this situation, the HDMI Licensing Officer has announced a new specification for HDMI 2.1a, called “HDMI Cable Power”. This feature is intended to provide additional power to HDMI cables directly from the source device connector, eliminating the need to rely on an external power source.

Basic data about HDMI cable power

The licensing official states that the performance requirements for a high-speed HDMI cable are so high that cables of several meters in length should use HDMI cables with an active power supply. Accordingly, the HDMI Cable Power should provide a remedy to meet the higher speeds of the HDMI 2.1a specification of up to 48 Gbit/s.

For the new Cable Power technology to work, both the source and receivers must support it. The ends of the cable are specially marked with the connections of the source and receiver. If the connection is reversed, the cable should not be damaged, but the connection cannot be established in this way.

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If the source devices do not support HDMI Cable Power, the cables that support it are supplied with a separate connector. Usually USB Micro-B or USB Type-C, but other connections should also be used. According to the licensing official, more and more domestic devices support HDMI Cable Power technology. Therefore, HDMI cables of several meters in length can be suitable for home use and provide more convenience.

source: HDMI Licensing Officer