In the beginning, there was HDMI 1.3 published three years ago, which brought HD users not only a connectivity standard that works well for HD content, but which also was simple to use. Essentially there was only one HDMI connection. Now the HDMI Licensing group is about to make final the enhanced HDMI 1.4 spec, which provides additional options over plain old HDMI.
But the simplicity of choosing which HDMI connection to use? Not so simple anymore. Welcome to the 21st century.
The new 1.4 spec for HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) to be published in late June and available for downloading on the HDMI Web site, provides not one, but five, different cable connection possibilities (and an array of additional options within some of them). But what it may lack in sheer simplicity it seems to make up for as far as keeping up with advances in broadband and related services, especially in the past couple of years.
HDMI 1.4, among other things, includes the option of an Ethernet-compatible data channel designed to allow bi-directional transmissions up to 100 Mbps. The transmission scheme would permit one broadband (Internet-connected) device to share the connection, as well as allow content-sharing among other devices that are connected via HDMI 1.4.
A cutting-edge standard for emerging 3D formats has been added to the new spec, and one for vehicles, as well as support for both 2K and 4K digital cinema standards. Also, proponents say in most cases the 1.4 spec should virtually eliminate the need for audio cables for any HDMI 1.4-connected devices.
And as for those five new HDMI cable options soon to be available, take your pick:
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
Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet
High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet
Automotive HDMI Cable – allows connection of external HDMI-enabled devices to an in-vehicle HDMI device
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