Standards body unveils new specification which will stream audio and video as well.

USB takes on HDMI with new AV spec

The USB standards body announced the finalisation of a specification of audio/video devices which allows for transferring of AV data over USB cables.

The standard is designed to enable manufacturers of small mobile devices to create single-cable devices which are capable of handling video, audio and power via the same USB cable. The move seems to place the USB implementers forum in competition with mini HDMI.

"This addition further establishes USB as an all-inclusive, comprehensive solution for manufacturers and
consumers, while maintaining the affordability and ease-of-use that have made USB so successful," said USB-IF chief Jeff Ravencraft.

If there was any doubt as USB’s aspirations towards invading HDMI’s turf, the USB-IF compared the new AV standard to "other technologies", pointing out that USB could offer power, mass storage and AV and that USB licensing was on a zero-royalty basis.

That latter point alone might win some favors but it’s not clear at this stage what’s needed on the computer side to support the new AV protocol.

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