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I was wondering if it's possible to use the 10.2 Gb/s HDMI port on several computers as a backbone networking interface for a home made cluster?

Is there some kind of HDMI switch? Can HDMI transport arbitrary data? Can you access the HDMI port in *nix as a device like eth0 and pipe to it? Can the HDMI port on the computers receieve data, or is it outgoing only (graphics card -> display)?

This would be very cool.

If it doesn't exist, what would be the logistics of implementing this?

Edit) Reddit discussion,

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HDMI 1.4 supports Ethernet over the cable. Other than this, don't try it. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Sep 3 '13 at 21:49
Could the data be converted to a visual representation and ported over the audio/video channel at 1080p 30fps? – blakev Sep 3 '13 at 21:54
Implementation suggestion from stack overflow: – blakev Feb 16 '14 at 3:49
Very interesting question. Reminds me of something that happened in an episode of "Halt And Catch Fire". I'd like to know more about it. – tjt263 Feb 3 at 11:04
I wonder about using an HDMI capture card along with a graphics card could work. You would have to create your own interface for it and convince Linux that it is not for graphics. As a side thought you could use the gpu as a network processing unit and compress the traffic along with it. one more thought. If you have a gpu on both sides and a display port, in theory – Joe Apr 15 at 9:56

HDMI has multiple channels carrying various kinds of data (video, audo, control, etc)

As Ignacio commented - HDMI 1.4 does have Ethernet (HEC) on pins 14 & 19 - you could use this.

HDMI 1.4 does have reverse audio channels (ARC) so that (for example) a TV can return a sound signal to an external audio amplifier. I suspect throughput may be relatively low.

It does have a CEC channel for bidirectional command communication but this is relatively low speed.

I believe the video portion of the TMDS channels is not bidirectional and so cannot be used to receive data.

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