Some love it others loath it but despite what you think more than 340 Million people are now using HDMI connectivity as their preferred connection technology. More than 394 million HDMI-enabled devices will ship in 2009 claims the HDMI Licensing organisation creating an installed base of 1 billion devices, says In-Stat. But the successful HDMI standard is about to be upgraded to Version 1.4.
The HDMI spec is chasing added functionality by consumer electronics and PC makers. Says Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing LLC, “The 1.4 specification will support some of the most exciting and powerful near-term innovations such as Ethernet connectivity and 3D formats. Additionally we are going to broaden our solution by providing a smaller connector for portable devices and a connection system specified for automobiles, as we see both more and different devices adopting the HDMI technology.”
You can expect to see new HDMI 1.4 cables when new HDMI 1.4 devices become available. Here are some of the most notable new features:
• Standard HDMI Cable – supports data rates up to 1080i/60
• High Speed HDMI Cable – supports data rates beyond 1080p, including Deep Color and all 3D formats of the new 1.4 spec
• Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet
• High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet
• Automotive HDMI Cable – to connect external HDMI-enabled devices to an in-vehicle HDMI device
The HDMI 1.4 spec will add a data channel to the HDMI cable to enable high-speed bi-directional communication. Connected devices with this feature can send and receive data via 100 Mb/sec Ethernet (making them instantly ready for any IP-based application).
The HDMI Ethernet Channel will allow an internet-enabled HDMI device to share its Internet connection with other HDMI devices without the need for a separate Ethernet cable. The new feature allows HDMI-enabled devices to share content between devices, too.
The new version will add an Audio Return Channel to reduce the number of cables required to deliver audio upstream for processing and playback. In cases where HDTVs are directly receiving AV content, the Audio Return Channel allows the HDTV to send the audio stream to the AV receiver over the HDMI cable (eliminates need for an extra cable).
The new 1.4 version defines common 3D formats and resolutions for HDMI-enabled devices. For 3D Over HDMI , the spec will standardize the input/output portion of the home 3D system and will specify up to dual-stream 1080p resolution.
HDMI devices will be able to support HD resolutions at 4X the resolution of 1080p. Support for 4K x 2K lets the HDMI interface transmit content at the same resolution as many digital theaters. Formats supported include:
• 3840×2160 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz
• 4096×2160 24Hz
Other enhanced functionalities in the spec include:
• expanded support for color spaces specifically for digital still cameras, including YCC601, Adobe RGB and AdobeYCC601
• a Micro HDMI 19-pin connector supporting up to 1080p resolutions for portable devices and about 50% smaller than the extant HDMI Micro Connector
• an Automotive Connection System cabling spec for in-vehicle HD content distribution, (specified resistance levels to heat, vibration and noise)