The HDMI 1.4 specification adds a data channel to the HDMI connection, enabling high-speed, bi-directional communication. Connected devices that include this feature can send and receive data via 100 Mb/sec Ethernet, making them instantly ready for any IP-based application. The HDMI Ethernet Channel allows internet-enabled HDMI devices to share an internet connection via the HDMI link, with no need for a separate Ethernet cable. It also provides the connection platform that will allow HDMI-enabled components to share content between devices.
The new specification adds an audio channel that will reduce the number of cables required to deliver audio “upstream” from a TV to an A/V receiver for processing and playback. In cases where a TV features an internal content source, such as a built-in tuner or DVD player, the Audio Return Channel allows the TV to send audio data upstream to the A/V receiver via the HDMI cable, eliminating the need for an extra cable.
The 1.4 version of the specification defines common 3D formats and resolutions for HDMI-enabled devices, enabling 3D gaming and other 3D video applications. The specification standardizes the input/output portion of the home 3D system, facilitating 3D resolutions up to dual-stream 1080p.
The new specification enables HDMI devices to support extremely high HD resolutions, effectively four times the resolution of a 1080p device. Support for 4K allows the HDMI interface to transmit digital content at the same resolution as the state-of-the-art Digital Cinema systems used in many movie theaters.
HDMI now supports color spaces designed specifically for digital still cameras, enabling more accurate color rendering when viewing digital photos. By supporting sYCC601, Adobe®RGB, and Adobe®YCC601, HDMI display devices are capable of displaying more accurate, life-like colors when connected to a digital camera.
The HDMI Micro Connector is a significantly smaller 19-pin HDMI connector supporting up to 1080p resolutions for portable devices such as cell phones, portable media players, and digital cameras. This new connector is approximately 50% smaller than the size of the existing HDMI Mini connector.
The Automotive Connection System is a cabling specification designed to be used for in-vehicle HD content distribution. The HDMI 1.4 specification provides a solution designed to meet the rigors and environmental issues commonly found in automobiles, such as heat, vibration and noise. Using the Automotive Connection System, car manufacturers now have a viable solution for HD distribution within a vehicle.
While the HDMI Licensing authority has no special insight into manufacturers’ product plans, prior experience tells us that when a new version of the specification is released, products featuring the new capabilities typically start to reach the market within six to nine months. A number of products featuring HDMI 1.4 functionality are likely to be introduced at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
No. HDMI technology is designed to enable a wide variety of manufacturers in different markets to implement the feature sets that work best for their customers.
Shop for the specific features that interest you, rather than shopping for an HDMI version number and assuming that a certain feature is supported. Since many of the capabilities detailed in the HDMI 1.4 specification are optional implementations, it’s the responsibility of the manufacturer to tell you what features are supported in any given device.
The HDMI Ethernet Channel feature will require a new cable that supports this functionality, either a Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet or a High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet, depending on the maximum resolution to be supported. The Automotive Connection System will also employ a new class of cable, the Standard Automotive HDMI cable, which is designed specifically for automotive use. All of the other new HDMI 1.4 features will be compatible with the existing categories of cables.
Yes, devices built to the HDMI 1.4 specification will be fully backwards-compatible with existing HDMI devices and their features.
Probably not. Most of the new features introduced in HDMI 1.4 will require a new HDMI chip to enable, and cannot be upgraded via firmware.
The HDMI Ethernet Channel enables a number of new possibilities via the HDMI link, including:
The HDMI Ethernet Channel feature supports any networking protocol that can run over an existing Ethernet connection, including TCP/IP, UPnP, DLNA, LiquidHD, and so forth.
Up to 100 Mb/sec of bi-directional (full-duplex) bandwidth is available over the HDMI Ethernet Channel.
Yes. Provided there is a routing device somewhere in the network – either a stand-alone router or a device with integral router functionality – the HDMI Ethernet Channel will enable linked devices to share an Internet connection.
Yes. The HDMI Ethernet Channel allows connected devices to share digital content in its native format. For instance, if it is protected by HDCP encryption, it will stay in its encrypted format, and can only be accessed if all the devices in the system are HDCP-compliant. Unprotected content, such as digital HD broadcast programming or user-generated HD video, will of course be free of any content protection.
Yes. The HDMI Ethernet Channel feature will require a new type of cable, either a Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet or a High-Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet, depending on the maximum resolution to be supported.
If your HDTV has a built-in tuner, DVD player, or other digital content source, the Audio Return Channel allows the TV to send audio data “upstream” to your A/V receiver, eliminating the need for a separate audio cable in this type of configuration. Audio Return Channel-enabled TVs can either send or receive audio via the HDMI link, giving you greater flexibility in how you set up your home theater equipment and making a separate upstream audio link unnecessary.
The Audio Return Channel supports all the same audio formats that can be sent through a traditional S/PDIF audio connection, including Dolby Digital, DTS, and PCM audio.
Yes. Whether the TV is sending audio to the sound system or vice-versa, devices featuring LipSync functionality (introduced in HDMI 1.3) will be able to track and correct for any processor lags, and adjust the delivery of audio and video so that the two signals stay in sync.
No. Audio Return Channel
-enabled devices can be connected via all the existing categories of HDMI cables.
The HDMI 1.4 specification includes information on a wide range of 3D display formats at up to 1080p resolution, including:
3D video requires substantial data throughput, so you’ll want to use a High Speed HDMI cable (with or without Ethernet).
A number of displays on the market are already 3D capable, including many DLP models. Likewise, there are already some content sources, such as gaming consoles that are 3D-capable. The 3D support introduced in HDMI 1.4 fills an important role by providing an input/output connection that can handle 3D content, and this could help launch consumer 3D video into the mainstream.
4K is a term used to describe displays with resolutions that are essentially four times that of a 1080p device – or roughly 4,000 lines wide by 2,000 lines high. The HDMI 1.4 specification supports multiple 4K formats:
A High Speed HDMI Cable (with or without Ethernet).
The first 4K displays were showcased at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. We expect them to be more widely available by the end of 2009, and we hope to see 4K source devices, such as up-scaling Blu-ray Disc players, introduced in roughly the same time frame.
These are color formats used in many digital still cameras, providing an extended range of available colors that is wider than what’s available in the traditional RGB color model. By providing native support for these color spaces, HDMI 1.4 enables HDTV manufacturers to deliver better and more accurate color to users when they view their digital photos.
A color space, also known as a color gamut or color model, defines the total palette of colors available to the display. The traditional RGB color space, developed in the days of analog broadcast TV, delivers a relatively limited subset of what the human eye can actually perceive. Extended color spaces like sYCC601, Adobe® RGB, and Adobe® YCC601 define a broader palette of colors that is closer to the full visible spectrum.
No. Support for these extended color spaces is compatible with the existing categories of HDMI cables.
Mobile phones, portable media players, digital cameras, or any portable device where space is at a premium and HDMI quality is desired.
Past experience tells us that when a new version of the HDMI specification is released, products featuring the new capabilities typically start to reach the market within six to nine months. And when new products appear, cable manufacturers are usually quick to support them with compliant cables and connectors.
Yes. The HDMI Micro Connector does everything a standard connector does – it’s just smaller.
It consists of two elements:
To connect your camcorder, portable media player, or other content source device to an in-vehicle video system, you’ll want to use an Automotive HDMI cable. We anticipate that these will feature various connector types - Standard, Mini, or Micro - depending on the intended application.
The Standard Automotive HDMI cable is a robust cable designed to handle the unique requirements of connecting to an embedded HDMI Automotive Connection System. Since an automotive video system may be wired with one or more internal relays that can effect signal strength, the Standard Automotive HDMI cable needs to send a strong and reliable signal, so it will be tested to higher performance standards than other cables.
No. Video resolution via the Standard Automotive HDMI cable will be limited to 720p/1080i, and there are no plans at this point to support HDMI Ethernet Channel functionality.
HDMI Ethernet Channel functionality adds a new data channel, so new cables are required to support Ethernet connectivity. These two new cable types are Standard HDMI with Ethernet and High Speed HDMI with Ethernet, with the former supporting resolutions up to 1080i/720p, and the latter built for resolutions of 1080p or higher. Both cable types support a full-duplex 100 Mb/sec Ethernet connection.
The other new cable type is the Standard Automotive HDMI cable, designed for use in automotive video systems. It is a robust cable designed to handle the unique stresses of the motoring environment, such as vibration and temperature extremes, and will be tested to higher performance standards than other cables.
In the HDMI specification, cables are specified in two categories (Standard and High Speed) according to their supported speed. Each can be made either with or without the HDMI Ethernet Channel. The 4 resulting cable types are then:
There are also cable-types defined for automotive applications but these cables are not currently available to consumers.
For general questions about HDMI, please visit www.hdmi.org. For complete details on the HDMI 1.4 specification, please go tohttp://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/hdmi_1_4.aspx. Additionally, HDMI Licensing will be conducting webinars beginning in June 2009. Please go to http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/installer_training.aspx#1 to sign up for an upcoming webinar session.
The Compliance Test Specification is still being developed. HDMI Adopters will be notified as soon as it is published.