While the cost of video processing hardware keeps going down, the cost of doing business, it seems, keeps going up. First it was the MPEG licensing fees, required of every video device using MPEG decoding or encoding. Now, as Junko Yoshida reports in EETimes, the cost of adding an HDMI interface to a video product is going up, as a certification program to assure HDMI interoperability is positioning itself to become the de-facto standard. (See Consumer electronics HDMI testing hijacked?)
Obtaining certification for an HDMI cable -- just a cable -- will set a manufacturer back $5,000. And for a DVD player or TV/monitor, it runs $15,000. HDMI repeater devices cost $12,000. And for $75,000 manufacturers can enjoy "elite" membership benefits that include priority testing that moves you to the front of the line.
Compared to the billions of dollars that wireless carriers routinely talk about as the cost of doing business, these numbers may seem small. But look at what HDMI is the replacement for -- a bunch of analog "RCA" phono jacks that serve as the input/output connections. Could you imagine having to cough up $15,000 to certify that your phono jacks work?