What's new: HDMI 1.4

HDMI Licensing, LLC (the company behind HDMI) has released details of the features that will be included in the upcoming HDMI 1.4 standard.

HDMI Licensing, LLC (the company behind HDMI) has released details of the features that will be included in the upcoming HDMI 1.4 standard.

Here's what's new in HDMI 1.4:

  • HDMI Ethernet channel This feature adds a data channel to the HDMI cable that will enable high-speed bi-directional communication. Connected devices that include this feature will be able to send and receive data via 100 Mb/s Ethernet.
  • Audio Return channel This feature is meant as a cable saver since it means that HDMI will be able to carry audio data to the AV receiver.
  • 3D over HDMI This defines a 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.
  • 4K x 2K resolution support This feature will enable HDMI devices to support high-definition (HD) resolutions four times beyond the resolution of 1080p. Supported formats will include 3840x2160 at 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz and 4096x2160 at 24Hz.
  • Expanded support for color spaces HDMI 1.4 will support color spaces such as sYCC601, Adobe RGB and AdobeYCC601 which are designed specifically for digital still cameras.
  • Micro HDMI connector Also introduced is a 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.

However, there is a catch - consumers will have five different HDMI 1.4 cables to choose from.

  • Standard HDMI Cable – supports data rates up to 1080i/60;
  • High Speed HDMI Cable – supports data rates beyond 1080p, including Deep Color and all 3D formats of the new 1.4 specification;
  • Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet – includes Ethernet connectivity;
  • High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet – includes Ethernet connectivity;
  • Automotive HDMI Cable – allows the connection of external HDMI-enabled devices to an in-vehicle HDMI device.

I bet that these new cables will cost a bundle. Users will need to know what cables they will need in advance because a mistake could be costly.