Dec 27, 2009

HDMI Version 1.4, 3D HDTV, and Wireless HD

My husband surprised me with a new HD TV to replace the old non-HD "clunker" that was taking up space in an armoire in our bedroom.  I went to attach my HD video camera to the new TV, and realized that three-foot HDMI cable was much too small.   Knowing how fast everything changes with technology, I decided I should research HDMI before setting out to purchase a longer cable.  

There is more to know about HDMI than I thought!   Here's what I found so far:

There is an organization dedicated to HDMI standards, HDMI Licensing, LLC that provides a wealth of information about HDMI.  It's worth taking the time to review the information contained on HDMI website, specifically, the following two links:
Key points about HDMI 1.4 from the HDMI website and the Specification Features overview:
  • Consolidation of HD Video, audio, and data in a single cable.
  • Enables high-speed bidirectional communication.
  • Enables IP-based applications over HDMI. (Ethernet)
  • Transfer speeds up to 100Mbps.
  • Supports audio return channel.
  • Can support up to 10.2 gigabits per second of bandwidth transmission
  • HDMI 1.4 is the latest standard. It includes definitions for common 3D formats and resolutions, up to 1080p.
  • HDMI 1.4 supports 4K x 2K resolution, which is the resolution of state-of-the art digital theaters and up to 4 times the resolution of 1080p.
  • Allows for the optimization of picture settings based on type of content.
  • Supports digital still camera-specific colors.
  • Allows for smaller HDMI connectors, ideal for portable devices.
  • Provides "High Definition Everywhere" support, with an automotive connection system designed to work effectively in vehicles.

About HDMI Version Numbers (from the HDMI website)
"HDMI version numbers are used by manufacturers to identify a set of features. To help you shop for the features you want in a cable, the HDMI licensing authority has created standardized names for certain key features. Here are a few:
  • Deep Color refers to monitors that can display a greater number of colors than traditional TVs, billions or trillions of colors rather than millions.
  • x.v.Color refers to an expanded, "wider" color gamut that includes colors not traditionally available in TVs. The x.v.Color space incorporates a much larger portion of the visible color spectrum than the older RGB color model.
  • Standard and High Speed refer to two grades of HDMI cable, tested to different performance metrics. A Standard cable can transmit a 1080i signal for 15 meters (49 feet) or more, while a High Speed HDMI cable can transmit a 1080p signal for at least 7.5 meters (25 feet)."
Podcasts about HDMI
The podcasts focus on HDMI 1.3, but also provides information about HDMI for the future
The podcasts feature interviews with Jeff Park and Steve Venuti from HDMI Licensing, via  Dolby Labs "Dolby cast".  Topics covered include HD devices, HDMI feature sets, capabilities, and HDMI versions.  The podcast also touches upon previous problems with firmware deployment, as well as wireless HD, which is not part of the HDMI specifications.

Richard Lawler, 12/23/09

According to Lawler,  the various companies are working towards standards, but we're not there yet. More information about HDMI 1.4 will be available at 2010 CES, held January 7-10 in Las Vegas.

-Photo of 3D video camera courtesy of Engadget.

The following is a direct quote from the Wireless HD website:

"Broadcom Corporation, Intel Corporation, LG Electronics Inc., NEC Corporation,Panasonic Corporation, Philips Electronics, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD, SiBEAM, Inc., Sony Corporation and Toshiba Corporation, have joined together to form the WirelessHD Consortium, an industry-led effort to define a worldwide standard specification for the next generation wireless digital network interface specification for consumer electronics and personal computing products. The WirelessHD specification has been available since January 2008 and includes the following attributes:
    • High interoperability supported by major CE device and technology manufacturers
    • Highest quality HD video, audio and data transmission, scalable to future high-definition A/V formats
    • High-speed wireless, multi-gigabit technology in the unlicensed 60 GHz band
    • Smart antenna technology for reliable non-line-of-sight operation
    • Secure communications with DTCP and HDCP over WirelessHD technology
    • Device control for simple operation of consumer electronics products using the basic remote control that ships with the TV
    • Error protection, framing and timing control techniques for a quality consumer experience
    • Low power options for mobile devices"

Cross-posted on The World Is My Interface blog.

No comments: