HDMI Licensing, the agent responsible for licensing the high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) specification, this week announced the features that will be incorporated in the upcoming HDMI 1.4 specification.
“The HDMI specification continues to add functionality as the consumer electronics and PC industries build products that enhance the consumer’s HD experience. The 1.4 specification will support some of the most exciting and powerful near-term innovations, such as Ethernet connectivity and 3D formats,” said Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing LLC.
The key features of the HDMI 1.4 are:
- HDMI Ethernet Channel. The HDMI 1.4 specification will add 100Mb/s data channel to the HDMI cable and will enable high-speed bi-directional communication. The HDMI Ethernet Channel will allow an Internet-enabled HDMI device to share its Internet connection with other HDMI devices without the need for a separate Ethernet cable. The new feature will also provide the connection platform to allow HDMI-enabled devices to share content between devices.
- 3D Over HDMI. The 1.4 version of the specification will define common 3D formats and resolutions for HDMI-enabled devices. The specification will standardize the input/output portion of the home 3D system and will specify up to dual-stream 1080p resolution.
- Audio Return Channel. The new specification will add an Audio Return Channel that will reduce the number of cables required to deliver audio upstream for processing and playback. In cases where HDTVs are directly receiving audio and video content, this new Audio Return Channel allows the HDTV to send the audio stream to the A/V receiver over the HDMI cable, eliminating the need for an extra cable.
- 4K x 2K Resolution Support. The new specification will enable HDMI devices to support high-definition (HD) resolutions four times beyond the resolution of 1080p. Support for 4K x 2K will allow the HDMI interface to transmit content at the same resolution as many digital theaters, including 3840x2160 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz and 4096x2160 24Hz.
- Expanded Support For Color Spaces. HDMI technology now supports color spaces designed specifically for digital still cameras. By supporting sYCC601, Adobe RGB and AdobeYCC601, HDMI-enabled display devices will be capable of reproducing more accurate life-like colors when connected to a digital still camera.
- HDMI Ethernet Channel. The HDMI 1.4 specification will add 100Mb/s channel to the HDMI cable and will enable high-speed bi-directional communication. The HDMI Ethernet Channel will allow an Internet-enabled HDMI device to share its Internet connection with other HDMI devices without the need for a separate Ethernet cable. The new feature will also provide the connection platform to allow HDMI-enabled devices to share content between devices.
- Micro HDMI Connector. The Micro HDMI Connector is a significantly smaller 19-pin connector that supports up to 1080p resolutions for portable devices. This new connector is approximately 50% smaller than the size of the existing HDMI Mini Connector.
- Automotive Connection System. The Automotive Connection System is a cabling specification designed to be used as the basis for in-vehicle HD content distribution. The HDMI 1.4 specification will provide a solution designed to meet the rigors and environmental issues commonly found in automobiles, such as heat, vibration and noise.
Consumers will also see new HDMI cables introduced to the market. In order to take advantage of the HDMI Ethernet Channel, consumers will need to purchase either a Standard HDMI cable with Ethernet, or a High Speed HDMI cable with Ethernet. Consumers connecting an external device to an in-vehicle HDMI-enabled HD system will need the new Automotive HDMI cable. Consumers can expect to see new HDMI 1.4 cables introduced to the market when new HDMI 1.4 devices are available.
“We are going to broaden our solution by providing a smaller connector for portable devices and a connection system specified for automobiles, as we see both more and different devices adopting the HDMI technology,” concluded Mr. Venuti.