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The Evolution of the HDMI Standard

A Technology Standard in Motion (HDMI version 1.0 to today)

Since 2002, the High Definition Multimedia Interface specification has been revised six times. See the chart below. The HDMI™ standard is revised for a number of different reasons, but one of the most significant is to provide support for new advances in audio and video technology and increased bandwidth to support these new features. The most recent HDMI 1.3a, Category 2 specification, for example, specifies data speeds as high as 10.2 Gbps (340 MHz) with the aid of signal equalization.

Innovation in HDMI™ connectivity is, of course, a good thing. It ensures HDMI™ equipped AV equipment and cables will support the newest, most exciting advances in HDTV and Home Theater technology, from 1080p video with 12-bit Deep Color? to lossless uncompressed Dolby® True HD or DTS-HD? surround sound.

Unfortunately, updates to the High Definition Multimedia Interface specification have also caused customer confusion, as well as performance incompatibilities between AV components and HDMI™ cables. While new HDMI™ cables are backwards compatible with early versions of the High Definition Multimedia Interface specification, first-generation HDMI™ cables generally do not have the bandwidth required for the most cutting-edge features in new HDTVs and HD sources.

Deep Color is a good example, now available in HDTVs from a number of major manufacturers, including Sony (Bravia) and Toshiba (Regza), among others. If your HDMI™ cable isn't HDMI 1.3a, Category 2 compliant, you won't experience this advanced color feature, boasting color depth from 16 million colors to billions of colors , for more lifelike imaging with deeper blacks and more natural skin tones.

HDMI 1.0 HDMI 1.1 HDMI 1.2 HDMI 1.3
Initial Specification Added support for DVD Audio Added support
for SACD Audio
Increases bandwidth to 10.2Gbps (340Mhz)
Permitted PC applications to use only RGB color space Offers support for 16-bit color, increased refresh rates (ex. 120Hz), support for 1440p/WQXGA resolutions
    Supported low-voltage (AC-coupled sources) in PCs Supports xvYCC color space standard
      Adds mini connector
      Adds support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio standards
Source: IDC, 2006