HDMI, or High Definition Multimedia Interface technology developed by the HDMI Working
Group in 2002, is the newest digital media interface based on the DVI-HDCP
model. While DVI
handles only uncompressed,
real-time digital video, HDMI can handle both digital video as well as multi-channel
audio. The most attractive feature of HDMI is that it has the ability to turn
upwards of 10 separate cables, audio and video, into one easy to install, small
connector cable. There are, however, two HDMI connector types which are “Type
A” which is used for consumer electronics such as televisions and DVD players, and
“Type B” which was designed as a dual link for PC applications requiring frequencies
above 165 MHz.
HDMI has several features that make it more attractive to the consumer electronics
industry. Among them are its Consumer Electronics
support based on the AV.link protocol allowing it to be controlled
using a universal remote, and its bi-directional communication between HDMI devices
allowing for intelligent rendering of specified formats. Also, HDMI, like
DVI, transmits uncompressed high definition video data therefore the picture maintains
its high quality without losing color depth, or altering brightness or contrast.
Also, unlike DVI's 5 meter limit, HDMI cable can be run up to 15 meters when
UPDATE: HDMI 1.3 is the now the industry standard. This new version of HDMI cables
brings Higher clock rates (previously 165Mhz, with v1.3 spec is now 340Mhz for singlelink
connections and 680Mhz for dual link connections) which increases the maximum bandwidth
of HDMI cables allowing for HDMI to support displays with resolutions that exceed
1080p. While this may seem very complicated, in reality its very simple. A HDMI
1.3 cable if fully backwards compatible with previous version of the HDMI specification,
therefore if you need a HDMI cable, buy a HDMI v1.3 and you can rest assured it
will work perfectly fine with all your HDMI enabled devices.
UPDATE: Mini HDMI "C" cables are now available for all your portable media
devices. This is a more compact design that works great with portable devices. More
information will be added shortly including pictures and detailed information.
UPDATE 1/14/2013: In June 2009, Micro HDMI "D" cables have been made available for smart phones
and other small devices. Micro HDMI is an extremely small form factor, similar to Micro USB.
This compact connector will all you to view HD Content from your smart phone on an HDTV.
UPDATE 1/14/2013: In March 2010, HDMI.org released specifications for HDMI 1.4a. Many improvements have been
made to the HDMI standard so it continues it's high performance far into the future.
An HDMI Ethernet Channel
has been added to allow IP-enabled devices to stay connected without separate ethernet cabling.
Audio Return Channel
will allow a TV with a built in tuner to send an audio "upstream" to a receiver which will eliminate any excess cables.
3D is now supported which paves the way for true 3D gaming and home theater applications.
4K (Ultra HD) doubles the
currently 1920x1080p displays to offer a resolution of 3840x2160p. This increased pixel density will offer home video
that can currently only be seen in IMAX films.