What are HDMI and HDCP licenses and are they required? | Symmetry Blog

Oct 10, 2018

Before developing with HDMI interfaces, it’s important to understand the mandatory steps needed to make sure your device is properly licensed.

We previously covered this topic back in 2014, and a recent email sent by a customer prompted us to revisit this with an updated look on what engineers need to work with HDMI.

There are two essential pieces in HDMI interface technology: HDMI and HDCP specifications/licenses. Continue reading below to find out more about HDMI and HDCP licensing.


What it Means to be an HDMI Adopter

As we covered in a previous blog article, HDMI specification is not an open standard; you need to be licensed by HDMI LLC in order to implement HDMI in any product or component. Companies who are licensed by HDMI LLC are known as HDMI Adopters. 

While earlier versions of HDMI specs are available to the public for download, only Adopters have access to the latest standards (HDMI 1.4/1.4a/2). Additionally, here is why you should consider becoming an Adopter:

  • Only Adopters have access to Compliance Test Specification (CTS) that are used for compliance and certification. This is required before any HDMI product can be legally sold.
  • Adopters have IP rights.
  • Adopters receive the right to use HDMI logos and TMs on their products & marketing materials.
  • Adopters are listed on HDMI website. 
  • Products from Adopters are listed and marketed in official HDMI product finder database.
  • Adopters receive more exposure through combined marketing, such as the annual HDMI Developers Conference and technology seminars.


HDMI License

The HDMI license is mandatory if you plan to use their logo to advertise/marketing/label your final product as HDMI compliance device.  Keep in mind it's not simply paying license fee, the product has to pass a series of HDMI compliance tests as well. If HDMI compliance doesn't apply to your device, you don't have to be an adopter.


HDCP License

The HDCP license is mandatory for purchasing any HDCP key equipped HDMI components. Depending on the HDCP specification associated with the component, you might need become both HDCP1.x and HDCP2.x adopter. Without the license, you cannot purchase component with HDCP encryption, decryption or both.


Still have questions about HDMI and HDCP licensing? Our Applications Engineers offer free design and technical help for your latest designs. Contact us today!



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