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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The latest version of HDMI is up to 1.3b, but there are four main versions that most equipment will correspond to -- 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3. Notice that the versions correspond with the types of audio they can transmit, as all versions should be able to transmit HD video up to 1080p.

HDMI 1.0: This is the first version of HDMI and it was ratified in late 2002. It will decode most versions of audio contained in DVD and digital TV signals, including Dolby Digital and DTS.

HDMI 1.1: This version added DVD-Audio support, which means users with compatible disks and players can listen to 5.1 channel audio streams without the need for six separate audio RCA cables.

1.2/1.2a: The main improvement on 1.1 is the addition of Super Audio CD (SACD) support, which means users no longer need to rely on iLink or analog cables to listen to SACDs. The standard also adds support for an as-yet unused Type A PC connector.

HDMI 1.3/1.3a/1.3b: Version 1.3 adds support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio which are used in Blu-ray and HD DVD players. As yet, the only device on the market that supports this standard is the PlayStation 3, but in the coming months most manufacturers plan to release compatible surround receivers. The standard also increases the bandwidth by a factor of two to 10Gbps.

Question: Will HDMI 1.3 products work with my non-1.3 devices?

Answer: Yes, all versions of HDMI are backward and forward compatible. They will all work but non-1.3 products will not support extended bandwidth features of 1.3 devices like "Deep Color."

An HDMI 1.3 Category 1 device can carry a signal with a pixel clock of 74.25 MHz.

An HDMI 1.3 Category 2 device can carry a signal with a pixel clock greater than 74.25 MHz.

These HDMI 1.3 products are fully compatible with all prior versions of HDMI and will support all the new feature including DEEP COLOR (high color bit depth) and enhanced multi-channel digital audio formats (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio).

The latest HDMI Version 1.3 upgrade gives you:

  • Higher speed: HDMI 1.3 increases its single-link bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbps) to support the demands of future HD display devices, such as higher resolutions, Deep Color and high frame rates. In addition, built into the HDMI 1.3 specification is the technical foundation that will let future versions of HDMI reach significantly higher speeds.

  • Deep Color: HDMI 1.3 supports 10-bit, 12-bit and 16-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depths, up from the 8-bit depths in previous versions of the HDMI specification, for stunning rendering of over one billion colors in unprecedented detail.

  • Broader color space: HDMI 1.3 adds support for “x.v.Color” (which is the consumer name describing the IEC 61966-2-4 xvYCC color standard), which removes current color space limitations and enables the display of any color viewable by the human eye.

  • New mini connector: With small portable devices such as HD camcorders and still cameras demanding seamless connectivity to HDTVs, HDMI 1.3 offers a new, smaller form factor connector option.

  • Lip Sync: Because consumer electronics devices are using increasingly complex digital signal processing to enhance the clarity and detail of the content, synchronization of video and audio in user devices has become a greater challenge and could potentially require complex end-user adjustments. HDMI 1.3 incorporates automatic audio synching capabilities that allows devices to perform this synchronization automatically with total accuracy.

  • New HD lossless audio formats: In addition to HDMI’s current ability to support high-bandwidth uncompressed digital audio and all currently-available compressed formats (such as Dolby® Digital and DTS), HDMI 1.3 adds additional support for new lossless compressed digital audio formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Also all HDMI 1.3 products are compatible with HDTV's with a 120 Hz frame rate and Blu-ray, HD-DVD DVD players etc. with a 24 Hz frame rate.



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