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HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is the first industry-supported, uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface. HDMI provides an interface between any audio/video source, such as a set-top box, DVD player, and A/V receiver and an audio and/or video monitor, such as a digital television (DTV).
HDMI supports standard, enhanced, or high-definition video, plus multi-channel digital audio on a single cable. It transmits all ATSC HDTV standards and supports 8-channel digital audio, with bandwidth to spare to accommodate future enhancements and requirements.
Who supports HDMI?
The HDMI Founders include leading consumer electronics manufacturers Hitachi, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic), Philips, Sony, Thomson (RCA), Toshiba, and Silicon Image. Digital Content Protection, LLC (a subsidiary of Intel) is providing High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) for HDMI. In addition, HDMI has the support of major motion picture producers Fox and Universal, and system operators DirecTV, EchoStar (Dish Network) as well as CableLabs.
How do consumers benefit from HDMI?
The new HDMI digital interconnect provides:
- Superior, uncompressed digital video and audio quality
- Simple, user-friendly connector that replaces the maze of cabling behind the entertainment center
- Integrated remote control
- A popular interface enabling the transmission of high-definition content. HDMI opens the floodgate of digital content from major motion picture producers
When will the HDMI specification be released?
The HDMI 1.3 specification is available now. CE manufacturers may begin designing products incorporating the HDMI standard-addressing consumer demand for HD programming and for DTVs that display this content.
What is HDMI 1.3?
- HDMI 1.3 allows the availability of a new mini connector for devices such as camcorders
- The availability of HDMI 1.3 depends on your specific equipment.
- All HDMI cables should be made using the largest gauge (AWG) wire with individually shielded pairs possible with top quality workmanship. This protects your signal from Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI).
- Increases single-link bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbit/s)
- Optionally supports 30-bit, 36-bit, and 48-bit xvYCC with Deep Color or over one billion colors, up from 24-bit sRGB or YCbCr in previous versions.
- Incorporates automatic audio syncing (Audio video sync) capability.
- Optionally supports output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio streams for external decoding by AV receivers. TrueHD and DTS-HD are lossless audio codec formats used on Blu-ray Discs and HD DVDs. If the disc player can decode these streams into uncompressed audio, then HDMI 1.3 is not necessary, as all versions of HDMI can transport uncompressed audio.
What is HDMI 1.4?
- HDMI 1.4 was released on May 28, 2009, and Silicon Image expects their first HDMI 1.4 products to sample in the second half of 2009.
- HDMI 1.4 increases the maximum resolution to 4K x 2K (3840x2160p at 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz and 4096x2160p at 24Hz, which is a resolution used with digital theaters);
- HDMI 1.4 includes an HDMI Ethernet Channel, which allows for a 100 Mb/s Ethernet connection between the two HDMI connected devices;
- HDMI 1.4 also introduces
- an Audio Return Channel
- 3D Over HDMI (HDMI 1.3 devices will only support this for 1080i)
- a new Micro HDMI Connector, expanded support for color spaces
- an Automotive Connection System.
- HDMI 1.4 supports several stereoscopic 3D formats including field alternative (interlaced), frame alternative, frame packing, line alternative, side-by-side half, side-by-side full, 2D + depth, and 2D + depth + graphics + graphics depth, with top/bottom half and full formats to be added in January 2010.
- HDMI 1.4 requires that 3D displays support the frame packing 3D formats at either 720p50 and 1080p24 or 720p60 and 1080p24.
- High Speed HDMI 1.3 cables can support all HDMI 1.4 features except for the HDMI Ethernet Channel.
Per HDMI Licensing - HDMI.org:
- For Cable - Adopters may no longer use HDMI version numbers in the labeling, packagin, or promotion of any cable product. This is effective immediately for any references to the HDMI Specification Version 1.4, and Adopters have a one-year grace period for removing references to earlier version of the HDMI specification when describing their cables.
- For Non-Cable Products - Effective as of January 1, 2012, all non-cable products cannot make any reference to HDMI version numbers. Until that time Adopters can use HDMI version numbers only when the feature or features associated with that HDMI version number is clearly specified. For instance, a manufacturer can describe a product as featuring "HDMI v.1.4 with Audio Return Channel and HDMI Ethernet Channel", but may not describe a product as being "HDMI v.1.4 compliant."
- With the release of the HDMI Specification Version 1.4, there are now five cable types, all with different capabilities and performance characteristics:
- Standard HDMI Cable (v.1.3 and Earlier)
- Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet (v.1.4 and Older)
- Standard HDMI Automotive Cable
- High Speed HDMI Cable (v.1.3 and Earlier)
- High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet (v.1.4. and Later)
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When will prototypes of HDMI products be available?
HDMI-based prototype devices were first demonstrated at CES in January 2003. The CE industry is currently transitioning from DVI to HDMI connections. Backward- compatible with the DVI 1.0 specification, HDMI enables both multi-channel digital audio and uncompressed video transmission over a single cable and connector, and in combination with HDCP addresses content providers' requirement for a secure interface to protect high-quality content from unauthorized redistribution.
What is the life expectancy of HDMI?
HDTV uses less than 1/2 of HDMI's available 5 Gbps bandwidth. With capacity to spare, HDMI can incorporate new technology advancements and capabilities long into the foreseeable future.
Does HDMI provide a secure interface?
HDMI, when used in combination with HDCP, provides a secure audio/video interface that meets the security requirements of content providers and systems operators.
What is HDCP?
HDCP stands for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. HDCP encrypts the digital signal to prevent it from being recorded. HDCP encryption / decryption takes place within your equipment. Check your equipment documentation to see if it offers HDCP. Cables simply pass the digital signal between the HDCP compliant equipment.
What are the advantages of HDMI over existing analog interfaces such as composite, S-Video and component video?
- Quality HDMI transfers uncompressed digital audio and video for the highest, crispest image quality.
- All Digital HDMI ensures an all-digital rendering of video without the losses associated with analog interfaces and their unnecessary digital-to-analog conversions.
- Low-cost HDMI provides the quality and functionality of a digital interface while also supporting uncompressed video formats in a simple, cost-effective manner.
- Audio HDMI supports multiple audio formats, from standard stereo to multi-channel surround-sound.
- Ease-of-use HDMI combines video and multi-channel audio into a single cable, eliminating the cost, complexity, and confusion of multiple cables currently used in A/V systems.
- Intelligence HDMI supports communication between the video source (such as a DVD player) and the DTV, enabling new functionality.
Is HDMI backward-compatible with DVI (Digital Visual Interface)?
Yes, HDMI is fully backward-compatible with DVI using the CEA-861 profile for DTVs. HDMI DTVs will display video received from existing DVI-equipped products, and DVI-equipped TVs will display video from HDMI sources. HDMI To DVI Cables HDMIDVI-1 1 Meter (3 Ft. 3 In.) Male to DVI Male Digital Cable HDMIDVI-2 2 Meter (6 Ft. 6 In.) Male to DVI Male Digital Cable View More
Will current HD TVs and set-top boxes using DVI-HDTV be compatible with HDMI devices?
Yes. Currently there are TVs with DVI-HDTV inputs available from a variety of manufacturers. Those devices will be compatible with future HDMI-equipped products.
What types of video does HDMI support?
HDMI has the capacity to support existing high-definition video formats (720p, 1080i, and even 1080p). It also has the flexibility to support enhanced definition formats such as 480p, as well as standard definition formats such as NTSC or PAL.
Does HDMI accommodate long cable lengths?
Yes. HDMI technology has been designed to use standard copper cable construction at long lengths. In order to allow cable manufacturers to improve their products through the use of new technologies, HDMI specifies the required performance of a cable but does not specify a maximum cable length. Cables are expected to be lengths of up to 15 meters. As semiconductor technology improves, even longer stretches can be reached with fiber optic cables, and with active cable technologies such as amplifiers or repeaters.
5 Things You Need To Know About 1080p And HDMI™
1. Why all the hoopla about 1080p? Most early adopters saw no improvement from their "up-converting" DVD players, even after going digital with HDMI™. Why? Because all they were really seeing was enhanced 480p on a 1080i display. The early hype about 1080p made us think it was the next big thing. Is it? New HDTVs that are "full HD 1080p" are shipping now so let's take a look at the top 5 reasons to go 1080p.
1. How much better is 1080p than 720p?
225%! It's a huge difference. The soundtrack also improves by 50% with the new totally lossless, bit-for-bit Dolby True HD and DTS Master HD multi-channel audio content.
2. Is this content available now?
Yes. It is exclusively available on Blu-ray disc players, soon to be on Playstation 3 (Blu-ray format) and 2nd generation HD DVD players. These two HD disc formats were created to deliver the 1080p experience to HDTV enthusiasts. The players decode Dolby True HD and DTS Master HD so you dont need a new preamp or receiver. Just feed the PCM output of the player to PCM input on your audio system and get ready to experience the widest dynamic range of any audio content in history.
3. Do I have to use an HDMI™ connection to get 1080p?
Yes. HDMI™ is the only way for two good reasons. First, it's digital all the way with no conversion or compression. Second, its protected by HDCP, the studios' way of keeping the best version of its copyrighted content protected from piracy. The players will not ouput 1080p from the component RGB output, only 480p, the current DVD standard.
4. Do I need v1.3 HDMI™ in order to see the real 1080p or hear the Dolby True HD/DTS Master HD soundtrack?
No. v1.3 HDMI™ (see chart above) was released as a specification "framework" last summer for hardware and software creators who are now beginning to work on the next "next" generation of HD called 1440p. v1.3 products have not yet begun to ship and there is no reason to wait for that. v1.2 HDMI™ will handle all the data at 1080p and the soundtracks too, with plenty of headroom to spare. No need to panic about this. What you have now, even if its v1.1 HDMI™ will work fine with 1080p.
5. What will I need to make 1080p work in my existing system?
PureLink™. In order to view and distribute multiple 1080p sources to multiple 1080p displays, you will need a switching and distribution system capable or delivering 1080p video with no data errors to your new 1080p display, while at the same time routing your HD audio content to your legacy receiver or preamp. To our knowledge, PureLink™ makes the only devices of this kind with full HDCP support on every output. This is important because the studios are watching for piracy of this new generation of content and intend to vigorously prosecute illegal downloaders, just as the music industry did in the Napster case. PureLink™'s models are legal. Be sure to ask the vendor you buy from for a written guarantee that you will be safe from any legal action taken by the studios. PureLink™ is the only brand that puts this in writing for your protection because we are the only company thus far to do it according to the HDCP mandate.
© 2011 Pacific Custom Cable, Inc.