Many thousands of people apparently have an illicit cable in their possession. In a situation that primarily involves Mac users, standards body has confirmed that Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables are not licensed and therefore must be withdrawn from sale.

TechRadar first reported this development as rumor on July 1, but has now spoken directly with and received official confirmation that these cables do not meet the established standards.

The cables are used to connect a computer’s Mini DisplayPort to an HD-ready display, a popular way to view videos on a home entertainment system. Apple devised the Mini DisplayPort and uses it in all of its current laptop and desktop computers. Toshiba, HP and Dell also use it in some of their notebook computers. Several tablets and most digital video cameras are also among the products that use Mini DisplayPorts. has not banned the cables, but it has not yet determined a standard for them. This means that it has no criteria for testing them and therefore cannot license them. Its partner retailers are being told to remove them from sale.

Only cables with a Mini DisplayPort plug on one end and an HDMI plug on the other are affected by this situation. Adapters or cables with a Mini DisplayPort plug and an HDMI socket are fine.

HDMI licensees pay an annual fee of $10,000 and a royalty of five cents for every product sold directly to consumers.

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