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An interesting HDMI chip


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One of the problems retro computers have is trying to connect them to modern TVs. The standard nowadays is HDMI, a very complicated digital protocol, that’s quite complicated to handle (it was discarded from the X16 for this very reason).

Well, turns out that if you have an RGB signal, there’s a chip that can take that and create and HDMI signal, it’s the CH7035 by Chrontel http://www.chrontel.com/product/detail/35

If you need to add HDMI output to a project, keep it in mind. I found it really interesting. Hope you find it useful.

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Their website doesn't say (translation from Chinese is "no information").

AliExpress has a seller that seems to be selling them for USD 12 for a pair.

businesswire.com claims USD 3.85 each in 10,000 unit quantities.

Or if you don't have an appropriate display, you might try one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/uoeos-Adapter-Resolution-Computer-Projector/dp/B088699FJV (Out of stock as of edit)

https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-Converter-Computer-Desktop-Projector/dp/B07SRZDMHH

https://www.amazon.com/GrayRabbit-Adapter-Computer-Desktop-Projector/dp/B07TXZDN68

https://www.amazon.com/Converter-Computer-Projector-Aluminum-Alloy,Grey/dp/B07Z54Y86Q

Edited by StephenHorn
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  • 1 month later...
On 2/4/2021 at 2:46 PM, Dmian said:

One of the problems retro computers have is trying to connect them to modern TVs. The standard nowadays is HDMI, a very complicated digital protocol, that’s quite complicated to handle (it was discarded from the X16 for this very reason).

Well, turns out that if you have an RGB signal, there’s a chip that can take that and create and HDMI signal, it’s the CH7035 by Chrontel http://www.chrontel.com/product/detail/35

If you need to add HDMI output to a project, keep it in mind. I found it really interesting. Hope you find it useful.

This type of component is commonly called an "HDMI transmitter". For example this is Analog Devices lineup of HDMI/DVI transmitter products. Any whose input is "pixel bus" will convert digital RGB input. E.g. the ADV7513 takes 8 bits of R, G, and B and encodes them as HDMI. It can also handle I2S audio and encrypt with HDCP (though I'm not clear if it has its own keys or if a manufacturer needs to use their own).

The problem with HDMI is licensing. For low volume manufacturers (less than 10,000 units/year) it is $5,000 annual adopter fee + $1/unit administration + license fee (variable between $0.04 and $0.15/unit, but assume you will always pay 15 cents). For 1,000 units that comes to $6,115 or $6.12/unit for licensing on top of hardware costs. I'm not sure how proactive they are about enforcing the license.

Edited by Wavicle
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