USB Type-C is currently the most versatile connection type available, which is why a number of cable specifications have opted to increase compatibility. The latest to join this movement is HDMI Licensing – the group responsible for determining the specifications for HDMI connections.
The new HDMI Alt Mode will allow for direct conversions between USB Type-C and HDMI ports. Thus, removing the need for additional dongles or adapters. Of course, this comes with a few small limitations on the HDMI end.
At the moment, HDMI Alt Mode only supports the HDMI 1.4b specification and not the higher capacity HDMI 2.0b. This limits 4K video output to only 30fps; which possibly only a problem for people who were considering playing graphically intensive games over the connection. Although the lack of HDMI 2.0b also means that the connection won’t support HDR either.
The larger limitation happens to be the fact that HDMI Alt Mode is not backward compatible with existing USB Type-C connectors. This means that manufacturers will have to adopt the configuration for future devices, which may result in the specification taking a while before it reaches widespread use.