HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. In the past, or with older connections, the digital signal from a certain source (DVD player, VCR, etc.) had to be converted to analog so that it would reach the TV, resulting in a loss of quality of the signal, in other words, the loss of data. Today we have HDMI for this. HDMI can feed a signal digitally from a source to the TV (or receiver), without loss of quality.
- HDMI can pass high video resolutions depending on the source material and source.
- HDMI can be integrated into TVs, receivers, DVD players, Blu-ray players, digital decorders and more. Today this is often the case.
- HDMI also has a type of illegal copy protection called HDCP.
- HDMI has expanded considerably in recent years, which has resulted in different versions of this connection. All the newer versions of HDMI are compatible with older versions installed on older equipment, but you will not be able to use the latest functions of the new HDMI version. Below you can find an overview.
HDMI 1.0 – HDMI 1.0 combines a digital video signal with a 2 channel audio signal in a single cable. This could be, for example, between a DVD player with HDMI and a TV with HDMI.
HDMI 1.1 – This version adds the ability to feed not only video and 2 channel audio through a single cable, but also the ability to feed surround sound such as Dolby Digital and DTS, up to 8 channels (7.1 setting)
HDMI 1.2 – This version adds the ability to pass SACD signals through. These are signals from a Super Audio CD from, for example, a DVD player to a receiver, both with HDMI.
HDMI 1.3 – This version includes improvements in both the audio and video elements. With the advent of Blu-Ray (and the then HD DVD), this version also offers the possibility to transfer digital bitstreams (data streams) for the new high resolution audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD.
HDMI 1.3a – In addition to the audio enhancements mentioned above, HDMI 1.3 and 1.3a increase the video bandwidth that can be transferred from a source to the screen. This means that, for example, larger color depths (color palettes) can be transmitted and also higher resolution than the current 1080p. HDMI 1.3 (a) is the most common version at the moment.
HDMI 1.4 -HDMI 1.3 has only just come into play, but HDMI 1.4 is already in the works. A large number of improvements have been made to HDMI 1.4, as described below;
- Network – Version 1.4 will integrate HD video, HD audio with Ethernet in the same cable. This means that your home network, your internet and your image and audio signals can all be integrated in a single cable.
- Audio Return Channel – The television will soon be able to sendaudio signals back to a receiver to play this sound. This is especially useful when you are still using an analog TV tuner in your TV. Normally you would then have to lay a cable back to the receiver to have the audio run through your receiver to your speakers. Even now everything can be done with a single cable.
- HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronic Control) – If your equipment complies with the HDMI-CEC protocol, it is possible to have different devices communicate with each other. For example, your home cinema set, TV and / or receiver can turn on automatically when you switch on the Blu-ray player.
- Speed - Emerging technologies such as 2K and 4K (2000 pixels and 4000 pixels, which is a very high resolution) and 3D TV require more bandwidth; HDMI 1.4 gives them that space. The higher speed is of course interesting, but we still have to wait for the technologies that need this. Support for “Deep Color” in HDMI 1.3 is still hardly used today.
- HD in your car – A new connector (socket) is being introduced to help the automotive industry integrate HD video and audio in the car with HDMI.
- Smaller connector – There will be a new smaller 19 pin connector in addition to the current connectors.
HDMI 1.4a – The HDMI licensing organization has announced an early update to HDMI 1.4 to broaden support for 3D technology. The new 1.4a version will include mandatory support for different broadcast (broadcast) 3D formats, with which display equipment (3D TVs) can adapt to the type of 3D signal being received.
The first version of HDMI 1.4 brought 3D support for Blu-ray and games (1080p resolution for each eye), but did not include the different variants used by, for example, Sky and satellite channels. There are several 3D transmission techniques that fall into this category. The most common is Side-by-Side (half resolution per eye) 1080i 3D, which Sky works with. In addition, Top / Bottom 720p 3D is also widely used by, for example, ESPN.
HDMI 2.0 – Announced at IFA 2013, this version of HDMI includes support for 4K video with higher frame rates and several enhancements to HDMI-CEC and lip-sync. The maximum throughput speed has also been increased to 18Gbit / s.
HDMI 2.0a – This version is designed to support HDR content.
New HDMI logos and versions
As of November 19, 2010, packages of HDMI cables are no longer allowed to contain version numbers and HDMI-equipped equipment can only use version numbers when the version number specifies exactly which features are supported, such as “HDMI v.1.4 with Audio Return Channel and HDMI Ethernet Channel,” and no longer “HDMI v.1.4 compatible.” After January 1, 2012, HDMI-equipped products may no longer use version numbers.
Below you will find the new logos that will apply to HDMI versions;
This cable can process up to 1080i and 720p video, which is especially applicable to digital decoders and DVD players with an HDMI connection (upscalers).
This cable can handle up to 1080i and 720p video, but has an additional data channel for networking, called HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC).
This cable is used for internal video / audio connections in cars using HD video systems.
This cable can handle 1080p resolution and higher, including 4K, 3D, and Deep Color. This is the appropriate cable for a Blu-ray player.
his cable can handle 1080p resolution and above, but has an additional network data channel called HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC).
You can no longer compare these new logos, or names, with the above versions. To make it easier, let’s just start all over again. HDMI as we use it most now, version 1.3 (a) becomes HDMI standard or HDMI high speed , depending on the supported resolution. From there we will continue to build and new versions will be available that can, for example, use the ethernet, HDMI standard / high speed with ethernet and special HDMI version for in the car, HDMI standard automotive .
Only home cinema systems with an internet connection need an HDMI cable with ethernet. All other cables support the other features of HDMI 1.4. A new HDMI cable for 3D, for example, is therefore not self-evident, because you can already have it at home. When you watch Full HD on your TV, you have an HDMI 1.4 (actually called HDMI High Speed cable) cable, because the 1080p resolution is supported. In short, Do you have an HDMI High speed cable? Then you are in the right place for all HDMI 1.4 functions!
Below you will find a diagram with all the features that HDMI offers and the accompanying cable. For example, when you watch TV in a format lower than 1080p, there are only two cases that you need a High Speed HDMI cable; Deep Color and 120Hz from the source. In either case, this cable is needed because those two features use almost double the bandwidth of SD (standard definition). Please note; 120Hz of the source (eg a Blu-ray player) is a different story than 120Hz or 240Hz due to upscaling in the TV. All manufacturers nowadays upscale the signal in the TV. Having a High Speed cable will not add value in this case.
MHL (Mobile High-definition Link)
We see an MHL certificate appearing more and more on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, but what exactly is this? An MHL certified product has a microUSB port that actually serves as a microUSB port. But, in addition to the fact that you can put a USB cable in it for transferring data and charging your device, you can also use the port to send HD images and surround audio to your TV or computer. For this you need a special microUSB-to-HDMI cable. When connected you can display videos in Full HD 1080p resolution on an external display.
A big advantage of the MHL standard is that the HDMI port is unnecessary. This decreases the number of ports on a mobile device and thus perhaps the weight and price. In addition, when connected to a TV or other display with MHL support, the device can be charged while playing material. It must also be possible to operate the mobile device with the remote control of the TV.