Every second HDMI cable in store is being advertised with "High Speed Ethernet Support" on its packaging.

... and yet I have never-ever seen a single device that makes use of that feature. Have you?

@fribbledom I can say with 100% certainty that the HDMI plug doesn't fit in the ethernet port on my laptop does that count?

@fribbledom Nah. Never. It's not what I use HDMI for, in any way.

@greyduck Oh well, I really wouldn't mind having only a single HDMI cable going to my gaming consoles from the AV receiver.

@fribbledom I feel like there are a lot that should, but none do... I bet it's unreasonably expensive to implement (vs. just putting in an Ethernet port or wifi adapter?)


I guess the standard chips are a lot cheaper indeed. But it also sounds like a hen-and-egg problem to me. If TVs supported it more widely, I'd imagine at least gaming consoles might support it.

@fribbledom TIL that this exists, thanks! I was wondering if we were going to have Ethernet-enabled HDMI ports on our routers eventually, but looks like the actual intended setup makes a lot more sense. =P

It's for transferring data and to make devices communicate. E.g. the Apple TV can turn on and off the TV when activated or put to sleep. Without the TV needing to be toggled by the remote control.

@tobi Not quite, that's called HDMI CEC (pin 13 on the cable).

Ethernet over HDMI (pin 14) is an alternative way to hook up your devices to your LAN... that is if any devices out there would support that feature.


It's an alternative way to hook up your devices to your LAN & the Internet. I guess the idea was that your TV or AV receiver would act as a switch between regular ethernet cables (or your WiFi) and your HDMI connected devices, enabling them to go online without a separate cable.

@fribbledom iiiiiiiiiiiiiinteresting...

So are we talking like some kinda super-high bitrate that normal Ethernet can’t handle?
Is there an HDMI to Ethernet adaptor?
Do any routers exist with HDMI Ethernet?
Hot damn there *could* be potential.

@David_A_Webcomic @fribbledom In fact, speed is one of the reasons nobody felt in a hurry to support the HDMI Ethernet Channel - it's only specified up to 100Mbit/s.

@fribbledom @David_A_Webcomic TVs getting on the internet -- preposterous! :p

The spec was probably made before wireless was as ubiquitous as it is now.

@fribbledom Macs totally use it, though they like to pretend it's some later generation of their old Lightning protocol and not just an HDMI cable with a gratuitously incompatible plug.

@drewcassidy @fribbledom Ah, right, thunderbolt, lighting is a different protocol. Thunderbolt's a different protocol from thunderbolt too, tho. :P

There's great deal of chicanery going on with its "generations", some of which are actual Apple specs and some of which are open standards with funny plugs.

@Nentuaby @fribbledom thunderbolt isn't even Apple-specific, its just not many other manufacturers adopted it

@fribbledom it usually just means "we didn't skip any of the twisted pairs so it should hopefully work for anything"

@fribbledom DisplayPort is an even sorrier waste. It's supposed to carry USB as well, so theoretically I could wire up a workstation with dual 2560x1600 screens, mouse and keyboard with a single DP cable back to the computer. Many screens already have a built-in USB hub! But no graphics card manufacturer bothers spending the extra $0.50 to add a USB controller, so two cables it is, and long USB cables work *so* well...

@fribbledom yes, there are some switches which use HDMI for short range 10Gbps+ links

@fribbledom I can imagine plenty but I don't know if they're used in practice.

The easiest idea is a TV with its own ethernet port & internal network switch, and each box (game console, Chromecast, Blu-ray player, etc) connected via HDMI to the TV gets a wired internet connection for free


Sure, I guess the idea is obvious. But have you seen a single device that supports that and that you can actually buy?

@fribbledom as you suspected, it seems that there may have never been a real product that used it.

@fribbledom Nor have I ever seen a device support HDMI over CAT6. Too bad, would have been nice if one of them had caught on.


Actually, that I have seen. A friend uses that to drive his projector setup with a 20m long CAT6 cable.

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