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No More Dongles: USB-C to HDMI is Coming

Gadgets with USB Type-C connections are becoming ubiquitous, but using them with other devices often requires a myriad of adapters. Fortunately, you'll soon be able to drop at least one of your dongles -- the folks at HDMI Licensing have announced a new USB-C to HDMI standard, which will allow you to connect your USB-C smartphone, tablet or laptop directly to a TV or monitor without any fancy extra wiring.

The new standard, dubbed "Alt Mode," will support such features as local 4K playback, 3D and HDMI Ethernet Channel. It won't support the latest HDMI 2.2 features, however, which means no 4K streaming or High Dynamic Range (HDR).

MORE: Don't Buy a Phone or Laptop Without USB Type-C: Here's Why

Despite those small drawbacks, this new standard is great news for just about anyone with a modern mobile device. USB-C is becoming the norm for newer Android phones, and these new cables will allow you to view content from devices such as an HTC 10 or LG G5 directly on your 4K television. It's also a godsend for anyone that owns Apple's newest 12-inch MacBook, which uses a single USB-C port for both power and accessories.

Photo: Samuel C. Rutherford/Tom's Guide

Photo: Samuel C. Rutherford/Tom's Guide

"Easily connecting devices with USB Type-C to the huge installed based of HDMI-enabled TVs is a substantial benefit to consumers," said USB-IF President and COO Jeff Ravencraft in a release. According to Ravencraft, USB-IF is working with HDMI Licensing to ensure that you'll know whether or not a USB-C gadget supports the new Alt Mode when you're out shopping.

Considering that some folks' primary entertainment machine is a smartphone or laptop, the ability to more easily connect those devices to a TV is big. We look forward to testing USB-C to HDMI with our myriad of gadgets as the standard begins to roll out.