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AMD Displays Graphics Software Linux

AMD Intentionally Added Artificial Limitations To Their HDMI Adapters 256

Posted by timothy
from the market-segmentation-works-best-on-the-sly dept.
An anonymous reader writes "NVIDIA was caught removing features from their Linux driver and days later Linux developers have caught and confirmed AMD imposing artificial limitations on their graphics cards in the DVI-to-HDMI adapters that their driver will support. Over years AMD has quietly been adding an extra EEPROM chip to their DVI-to-HDMI adapters that are bundled with Radeon HD graphics cards. Only when these identified adapters are detected via checks in their Windows and Linux Catalyst driver is HDMI audio enabled. If using a third-party DVI-to-HDMI adapter, HDMI audio support is disabled by the Catalyst driver. Open-source Linux developers have found this to be a self-imposed limitation and that the open-source AMD Linux driver will work fine with any DVI-to-HDMI adapter."
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AMD Intentionally Added Artificial Limitations To Their HDMI Adapters

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  • by Elbart (1233584) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:36AM (#45069223)
    If companies would dedicate only 1/10th of their let's-screw-with-our-customer-resources to actual improvement of their products, *gasp*, I would be so happy.
  • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:36AM (#45069229) Homepage

    It's crazy that companies go through all this trouble to protect a revenue stream from something as inexpensive and generic as a DVI to HDMI adapter.

    Really, if they want to make a little more money, why not charge an extra dollar for the card itself and be done with it?

    DVI/HDMI don't even carry power, so you can't use the "it might fry the device" excuse that Apple uses with their lightning plugs.

  • by Tukz (664339) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:37AM (#45069241) Journal

    But that wouldn't be cost-effective.
    By spending resources on fucking over the customers, they earn more money for the shareholders, who are the people they really care about.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hypotensive (2836435) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:38AM (#45069249)
    Because scumbags.
  • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brit_in_the_USA (936704) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:40AM (#45069267)
    I'm also struggling to see a reason for this.

    The only thing I can think / guess is that some patent, licence and/or DRM limitation was identified by AMD that restricts (in legal terms) audio over DVI, but allows it over HDMI. Again, my best guess at this time.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:45AM (#45069319)
    Indeed. Doing something like this only makes sense if you TELL people about the limitations. "Buy our adapters and you WILL be able to fully use your HDMI cable for audio!"

    If it's a surprise, you're just annoying customers and not making any money off of it.
  • Re:Why do this? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:45AM (#45069321)

    I guess, because they give the adaptors away.
    I can't even see it being DRM, just some sort of patent stupidity.

  • Competition (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wjcofkc (964165) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:49AM (#45069353)
    Remember back when there was all kinds of competition in the video chipset\card market? 3DFX, Rendition, S3, Matrox, etc... Now we are down to two choices and they are both screwing us over... I guess that's what happens when competition is limited. What to do?
  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:52AM (#45069381)

    That is the first explanation that makes any sense.

    Force the OEMs to buy these DVI to HDMI chips from AMD vs another competitor.

  • Re:Why do this? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:52AM (#45069385)

    Given how much legal bullshit is involved with HDMI (adapters are allowed, but adapter cables not; Anything-to-HDMI is allowed, but HDMI-to-something else isn't), I wouldn't be surprised if this was some legal requirement. Sounds stupid enough for it, at any rate.

  • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:53AM (#45069399)

    With the rise of tablets and consoles for gaming, I'm thinking those Linux/Steam installs are starting to look a little more profitable.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jonsmirl (114798) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:12AM (#45069617) Homepage

    Why do you assume that AMD did this voluntarily? Much more likely that this is caused by some idiotic DRM requirement for for HDCP 'protected audio path' or working around some idiotic patent. Likely reason - a DRM requirement to stop people from plugging in devices that strip HDCP.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rudy_wayne (414635) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:15AM (#45069667)

    Why do you assume that AMD did this voluntarily? Much more likely that this is caused by some idiotic DRM requirement for for HDCP 'protected audio path'. Likely reason - a DRM requirement to stop people from plugging in devices that strip HDCP.

    Exactly.

    You can bet that the RIAA/MPAA cartel had something to do with this

  • This! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:51AM (#45070075)

    This is exactly what's happening. Reading the summary, my first thought was that it was incorrect and my second thought was that the writer was clueless. After all, DVI doesn't support audio so how can DVI out provide audio to a DVI - HDMI adapter? The answer is; only by breaking the standard.

    So, if you break the DVI standard and send audio out what happens? There are no adverse effects, at all, ever, even when the connection is DVI - DVI? It seems to me that they are simply adding a safety feature to their non-standard implementation. 'If we don;t know for absolute certain that the end point is HDMI, don't send audio out the DVI interface.'

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0racle (667029) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @11:13AM (#45070417)

    Why do you assume that AMD did this voluntarily?

    Because there is no evidence to indicate otherwise. Anything else is in the realm of speculation and conspiracy theory.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FatdogHaiku (978357) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @11:29AM (#45070659)
    Hey, I'm not wild about it either, but in the ass hat run off AMD has pulled out in front... Intel I am kind of liking at the moment, but I'm sure they will do something to change that opinion. Same with Nvidia. It's kind of like having a dog. You have to expect them to act like a dog... short term interests almost always dominate their behavior. Something smells good in the trash, they get into the trash. The thing is that our purchasing power is the only real "rolled up newspaper" that we have when it comes to corporations crapping on the rug that is our beloved tech...

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