Get ready for simple USB-C to HDMI cables

HDMI Alt Mode lets devices connect directly without dongles or adapters.

More devices are starting to ship with USB-C connectors built-in, and today groups behind HDMI and USB announced another way to take advantage of it. That method is HDMI Alt Mode, which means cable manufacturers can build a connector that plugs directly from the port on your phone, laptop or other device into the HDMI port on a TV or monitor. With this spec, there's no additional dongle or adapter needed in the middle.

It's all pretty simple, with just a USB Type-C cable on one end, HDMI on the other, but there are a couple of drawbacks. It supports the older HDMI 1.4b spec instead of the newer HDMI 2.0b. What that means for you is that while 4K video, 3D, HDMI-CEC and Audio Return Channel are all supported, it won't be quite enough to send the newest Ultra HD 4K video with HDR. That's probably not an issue if you're just trying to play a video or two from your phone, but it's good to know.