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The seven leading developers of the high definition multimedia interface (HDMI) companies on Monday said they had ratified the new HDMI 1.3 standard, which will offer increased data bandwidth to enable higher resolutions, colour depths and audio quality on next-generation consumer devices.

“The dramatic increase in maximum speed achieved in HDMI 1.3 will enable HDMI to stay far ahead of the bandwidth demands of future high definition source and display devices,” said Leslie Chard, president of HDMI Licensing, LLC.

HDMI 1.3 increases single-link bandwidth from 618MB/s to 1.275GB/s by increasing its clock-speed from 165MHz to 340MHz. The boosted bandwidth will allow HDMI to support 30-bit, 36-bit and 48-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depths, up from the 24-bit depths in previous versions of the HDMI specification. In addition, the new HDMI 1.3 interface supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats, which offer better audio quality. Theoretically, increased bandwidth may also enable higher resolution displays, however, as the content will be shipped mainly in 1080p (1920x1080, progressive scan) resolution, there is no immediate necessity to create panels that actually have more pixels.

The version 1.3 of the HDMI specifications also supports Lip Sync technology, which is an automatic audio/video synching capability that allows devices to synchronize video and audio automatically with accuracy.

Hitachi, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (Panasonic), Royal Philips Electronics, Silicon Image, Sony Corp., Thomson, and Toshiba Corp. said the HDMI 1.3 was available for licensing from HDMI Licensing company. However, the companies did not say anything about the pricing and whether there are any differences in royalty payments compared to the traditional HDMI.

HDMI adopters pay an annual fee of $15 000 and $0.15 for every single end-user product featuring HDMI sold. If the adopter uses the HDMI logo on the product and promotional materials, then the rate drops to $0.05 per unit sold. If the Adopter implements HDCP content protection as set forth in the HDMI specification, then the royalty rate is further reduced to $0.04 per unit.

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