Chinese CE vendors courted with cheaper HDMI

Annual fee cut by a third

Expect to see even more HDMI video ports on consumer electronics kit - the organisation in charge of licensing the technology has just knocked 30 per cent off the annual admin fee it makes manufacturers pay.

HDMI Licensing said the cut, from $15,000 to $10,000, was made possible by the port's "growing success in the marketplace". Maybe, but the hope of attracting more manufacturers in China was probably at the top of the list of reasons for the reduction.

Chinese consumer electronics customers have often complained that adopting standards developed in the West is too expensive, largely because of the big royalties they have to pay to gain legitimate access to the intellectual property. If a technology is priced too highly, there's a risk Chinese vendors will look to cheaper alternatives or establish one of their own. The sheer size of the Chinese CE market means neither of these outcomes are ones Western companies care to countenance.

With HDMI backers keep to establish their favoured HD interconnect as the de facto standard - not least because it helps drive adoption of the HDCP anti-piracy system too - clearly the time has come to make the standard less expensive to adopt and thus, they hope, find favour with Chinese manufacturers.

The fee reduction will apply to HDMI annual fee payments that come due after 1 November. ®

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