HDMI 1.4 Spec Coming Soon
HDMI 1.3 not interesting enough for you? Welcome to the wonderful world of 1.4. While it hasn’t hit shelves yet, apparently it will soon. According to a press release at HDMI, the new spec will include:
- Networking – Consolidation of HD video, HD audio and now high speed data with the addition of Ethernet in the HDMI cable.
- Audio Return Channel – Elimination of a S/PDIF cable by allowing a TV to send audio streams upstream to an A/V receiver for processing and playback over the HDMI cable
- Performance – 4kx2k and 3D are high performance features to be met by increasing the upper limit of the HDMI link
- HD in your Car – New connector specification for the auto industry as worlds’ largest auto makers move to digital HD video and audio for 21st century cars with HDMI
- Smaller connector – New smaller 19-pin connector
What does it mean for you? Who knows? But it sounds like your HDMI cable just got a whole lot more important. Audio return and Ethernet support are the features that should most excite an AV Rant listener. Just about every new product coming out seems to want to be connected to the Internet. While more specifics will follow after the embargo lifts on May 14th, it sounds like it’ll make things a bit easier. Audio return seems like a no-brainer as it will eliminate that extra cable from your TV to the receiver for those using Over the Air antennas.
Here are the questions you should be asking yourself – 1) will I need to upgrade my cable (yikes!) and 2) how long before we’ll see this stuff in a device you can own. There are a lot of the features in the current HDMI spec that aren’t fully utilized yet (including Deep Color) so adding 3-D support may be a bit premature. According to Silicon Image, they’ll be shipping products with HDMI 1.4 by the end of the year. That’s pretty quick. Look for more on this as it develops and as we’re allowed to release more info.