What’s new in the HDMI 1.4 Specification?

  • • HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC): This is an optional feature on an HDMI cable or HDMI device. An HDMI cable with Ethernet has been redesigned to include an additional channel (wire). This additional channel allows Ethernet to travel over an HDMI cable to other connected devices that supports Ethernet over HDMI. Example: An Ethernet over HDMI enabled Blu-ray player is connected to the internet (via a router) using an Ethernet cable. The TV has Internet capability and is Ethernet over HDMI enabled. If an HDMI Cable with Ethernet is used between the TV and Blu-ray player, the TV now becomes connected to the Internet. The use of a separate Ethernet cable between the TV and the router has been eliminated. An HDMI cable with Ethernet is fully compatible with products that do not have Ethernet support.
  • • Audio Return Channel (ARC): The Audio Return Channel enables a TV, via a single HDMI cable, to send audio data “upstream” (and receive “downstream”) to an ARC supported A/V receiver or surround audio controller, eliminating the need for any separate S/PDIF audio connection. All HDMI cables support ARC regardless of their version number. ARC is a new feature that the A/V device must be designed to support. Adopters have been asked to label all Audio Return Channel-compliant HDMI ports with the letters “ARC”, however they are not required to do so.
  • • 3D video format support: 3D video sources come in three category types: 1) Broadcast (Satellite),
    2) Cable and 3) Packaged Media (Blu-ray disc)
    Broadcast and Cable formats: Maintains support for 720/50-60Hz and 1080i/50-60Hz HD resolutions and uses techniques called “Side-by-Side” or “Over and Under” to create 3-D effects. These techniques keep the throughput requirements at about the same as seen on High Definition 2D TV by reducing the effective resolution in half to create the 3D effect.
    Packaged Media (Blu-ray) format: Provides HD resolutions of 720p/60Hz (max) and 1080p/24fps and uses a “Left eye-Right eye” sequential technique to create the 3D effect. This technique keeps the effective resolution the same, unlike the Broadcast and Cable formats, while doubling the frame rate in creating the 3D effect. The doubling of the frame rate increases the throughput requirement to about double that of the Broadcast or Cable 3D formats.
    Due to the large throughput requirements of 3D video, if a cable or device does not have enough throughput, it will be unable to transfer the 3D data. In some cases, such as in a Broadcast or Cable 3D transmission, a Standard Speed HDMI cable (regardless of its HDMI version) with its throughput of 4.95Gbps will be adequate to transfer a 3D video signal. In all cases 3D video is best supported by an HDMI compliant cable or accessory that is capable of High Speed data transfer of up to 10.2Gbps. A High Speed HDMI cable (regardless of its HDMI version) with its throughput of up to 10.2Gbps will provide complete support of all 3D video category types.
  • • Support of resolutions up to 4096×2160: Also referred to as 4K video or 4Kx2K, it includes two formats both supported in the HDMI 1.4 specification: •3840 pixels wide by 2160 pixels high •4096 pixels wide by 2160 pixels high. The 4K resolution is roughly 4 times the resolution of 1080p and requires a throughput of up to 10.2Gbps. A High Speed HDMI cable capable of a 10.2Gbps throughput, regardless of it’s version number, can support 4K video.
  • • Expanded color space support: Support for three additional color spaces have been added, allowing manufacturers to deliver better and more accurate color on an HDTV. In addition to RGB color and x.v.Color™, HDMI now offers native support for three additional color spaces: 1) sYCC601 color 2) Adobe RGB color 3) Adobe YCC601 color. Look for devices that feature support for these additional color spaces. All HDMI cables will support this functionality when connected to compliant devices.
  • • Micro Connector Type D: A new compact connector designed for use with mobile devices. The HDMI Micro Connector can handle video signals up to 1080P
  • • Automotive Connector Type E: A robust connector designed for connections within a vehicle and tested to perform under the unique stresses of the motoring environment such as vibration and temperature extremes.
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