HDMI Formats Explained

There are several HDMI formats that have evolved from the original High Definition Multimedia Interface. HDMI is a digital transmission format originally developed to transmit large amounts of digital audio and video data conveniently over one cable.

HDMI version 1.0 was first introduced back in December of '02 and enabled one-wire transmission of audio and video. HDMI advantages over analog A/V interfaces include its uncompressed, digital transmission of HD video, digital audio and control signals between components. Combining audio and video on one cable allows HDMI to be a convenient connection solution to help eliminate the usual glut of analog home entertainment system cables.

HDMI version 1.1 in May of 2004 was a minor update to allow for content protection (copyguard) for DVD audio.

HDMI version 1.2 was released in August of 2005 which allowed for One Bit Audio support which is used for Super Audio CDs (SACD) with allowance for up to eight channels of digital audio.

HDMI version 1.2a updated the format to specify command sets to allow for Consumer Electronic Control which allows HDMI devices to communicate with each other.

HDMI version 1.3 increased the bandwidth capability to 340MHz or 10.2Gbps. Basically 1.3 can handle data transfer for today's devices and allows for future HD formats. 1.3 supports Deep Color of billions of colors (as opposed to the millions currently in use by today's devices). Other significant improvements include the allowance for lossless audio decoding by capable A/V receivers of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD codec data streams. HDMI 1.3a also allows for miniature connectors for connection to devices such as camcorders.

HDMI version 1.4 Adds support for 3D and an audio return channel for TV audio to be sent to your AV receiver.

Who knows what future HDMI formats will appear on the horizon and when but I believe HDMI 1.4 should have our practical needs covered for quite some time.




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