HDMI Interface FAQ
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WHAT IS HDMI ?
HDMI stands for (H)igh (D)efinition (M)ultimedia (I)nterface.
In a constantly changing industry, HDMI is the current
standard of an all-in-one, standardized, universal
connector for audio/video applications. Featuring a modern
design and backed by the biggest names in the electronic
industry, HDMI is attempting to finally unify all digital media
components with a single cable, remote, and interface.
HDMI is built with a 5 Gbps bandwidth limit, over
twice that of HDTV (which runs at 2.2 Gbps), and is
built forwards-compatible by offering unallocated
pipeline for future technologies. The connectors are
sliding contact (like FireWire and USB) instead of
screw-on (like DVI), and are not nearly as bulky as
most current video interfaces.
HDMI 1.3 further increases the bandwith limit to 10.2 Gbps,
to allow for the video and audio improvements of the upgraded
WHAT DOES HDMI REPLACE ?
The high bandwidth of HDMI is structured around
delivering the best quality digital video and audio
throughout your entertainment center. Capable of all
international frequencies and resolutions, the HDMI
cable is designed to replace all analog signals (i.e. S-Video,
Component, Composite, and Coaxial), as well as HDTV
digital signals (i.e. DVI, P&D, DFP), with
no compromise in fidelity from the source.
Additionally, HDMI is capable of carrying up to
8 channels of digital-audio, replacing the old analog
connections (RCA, 3.5mm) as well as optical
formats (SPDIF, Toslink).
WHAT IS HDMI 1.3 ?
HDMI 1.3 is an improved specification for the HDMI
standard, with upgrades to each of the HDMI components.
HDMI 1.3 offers a higher video throughput, at 340Mhz, to
allow for higher resolution displays, Deep Color (up to 48-bit
RGB or YCbCr color depths), and the new Dolby standards
for lossless compressed high-definition audio.
The HDMI 1.3 specification also designates the use of a
smaller connector than the original HDMI connector, dubbed 'Mini HDMI'.
They are both similar in appearance, but the HDMI Mini plug measures
about half the size.
HDMI 1.3 is already available in commercial products, having started
with the release of the Sony Playstation 3 and various Blu-Ray players.
Models of DVD players, high-definition displays, and AV receivers
released since 2008 are also being designed with HDMI 1.3 connectors.
WHAT CAN HDMI BE USED WITH ?
To function as an all-inclusive interface, HDMI
is being implemented in virtually all multimedia devices,
from HDTV's and DVD players to computers and stereo
receivers. It is compatible with DVI products and can
be converted with a simple adaptor plug.
HDMI and HDMI 1.3 are also entirely cross-compatible, and
can be easily connected with a mixed-connector cable.
WHEN WILL HDMI BE AVAILABLE ?
HDMI is already permeating the home theater market, and is on most
every HDTV, DVD player, and receiver available today. It has become
the standard for entertainment solutions, but has made relatively little
progress in the computer industry (still dominated by DVI).
The newest kid on the block, the open-market DisplayPort
looking to overthrow both DVI (in the computer industry) and HDMI (in
the home theater industry), but is complicated by it's faux
backward-compatibility with the two standards.
Written by Anthony van Winkle
for DataPro International Inc.|
Unauthorized duplication strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 30 October 2008
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