HDMI Cable FAQ

What is High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)?
HDMI is the first industry-supported, uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface. HDMI provides an interface between audio/video devices, such as Blu-ray players, cable and satellite set-top boxes, DVD players, audio video receivers, and digital displays. HDMI supports all types of video-standard, enhanced, and high-definition. HDMI also supports multi-channel digital audio on a single cable. HDMI can transmit all ATSC HDTV standards and supports 8-channel, 192kHz, uncompressed digital audio and all currently-available compressed formats (Dolby Digital and DTS). HDMI 1.3 added additional support for new lossless digital audio formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio with bandwidth to spare to accommodate future enhancements and requirements.

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Who supports HDMI?
The HDMI Founders include leading consumer electronics manufacturers Hitachi , Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic), Philips, Sony, Thomson (RCA), Toshiba, and Silicon Image. Digital Content Protection, LLC (a subsidiary of Intel) is providing High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) for HDMI. In addition, HDMI has the support of major motion picture producers Fox, Universal, Warner Bros. and Disney, and system operators DirecTV, EchoStar (Dish Network) as well as CableLabs.

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How do consumers benefit from HDMI?
The new HDMI digital interconnect provides:
1. Compared to analog cables, HDMI provides superior, uncompressed digital video and audio quality.
2. A simple, single cable and user-friendly connector that replaces the maze of cabling behind the entertainment center.
3. Integrated remote control.
4. A popular interface enabling the transmission of high-definition content.

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What is the life expectancy of HDMI?
HDTV uses less than 1/2 of HDMI's available 10 Gbps bandwidth. With capacity to spare, HDMI can incorporate new technology advancements and capabilities long into the foreseeable future.

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Is HDMI backward-compatible with DVI (Digital Visual Interface)?
Yes, HDMI is fully backward-compatible with DVI using the CEA-861 profile for DTVs. HDMI DTVs will display video received from existing DVI-equipped products, and DVI-equipped TVs will display video from HDMI sources. Since DVI does not support audio, only the video signal is compatible between HDMI and DVI.

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Are new HDMI versions compatible with previous versions?
Yes, devices built with HDMI will be fully backward-compatible with previous versions.

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What types of video does HDMI support?
HDMI has the capacity to support existing high-definition video formats including 720p, 1080i, 1080p, and 2160p. It also has the flexibility to support enhanced definition formats such as 480p, as well as standard definition formats such as NTSC or PAL.

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Does HDMI accommodate long cable lengths?
Yes. HDMI technology has been designed to use standard copper cable construction at long lengths. In order to allow cable manufacturers to improve their products through the use of new technologies, HDMI specifies the required performance of a cable but does not specify a maximum cable length. As semiconductor technology improves, even longer stretches can be reached with fiber optic cables, and with active cable technologies such as amplifiers or repeaters.

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HDMI implements High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). HDMI, when used in combination with HDCP, provides an audio/video interface that meets the security requirements of content providers and systems operators.

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What is HDCP?
HDCP is a content protection technology available for use in connection with HDMI that was developed by Intel Corporation (with input from Silicon Image). HDCP is not licensed by HDMI Licensing, LLC, but by Digital Content Protection, LLC (a subsidiary of Intel).

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When was the HDMI specification released?
The HDMI 1.0 specification was released in December 2002.
The HDMI 1.1 specification was released in May 2004.
The HDMI 1.2 specification was released in August 2005.
The HDMI 1.2a specification was released in December 2005.
The HDMI 1.3 specification was released in June 2006.
The HDMI 1.3a specification was released in November 2006.
The HDMI 1.3b specification was released in March 2007.
The HDMI 1.3b1 specification was released in November 2007.
The HDMI 1.3c specification was released in August 2008.
The HDMI 1.4 specification was released in May 2009.
The HDMI 2.0 specification was released in September 2013

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What are the key new features in the HDMI 1.3 Specification?
* Higher speed: Although all previous versions of HDMI have had more than enough bandwidth to support all current HDTV formats, HDMI 1.3 increases its single-link bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbps) to support the demands of future HD display devices, such as higher resolutions, Deep Color and high frame rates. In addition, built into the HDMI 1.3 specification is the technical foundation that will let future versions of HDMI reach significantly higher speeds.
* Deep Color: HDMI 1.3 supports 30-bit, 36-bit and 48-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depths, up from the 24-bit depths in previous versions of the HDMI specification, for stunning rendering of over one billion colors in unprecedented detail.
* Broader color space: HDMI 1.3 adds support for “xvYCC” color standard, which removes current color space limitations and enables the display of any color viewable by the human eye.
* New mini connector: With small portable devices such as HD camcorders and still cameras demanding seamless connectivity to HDTVs, HDMI 1.3 offers a new, smaller form factor connector option.
* Lip Sync: Because consumer electronics devices are using increasingly complex digital signal processing to enhance the clarity and detail of the content, synchronization of video and audio in user devices has become a greater challenge and could potentially require complex end-user adjustments. HDMI 1.3 incorporates automatic audio synching capabilities that allows devices to perform this synchronization automatically with total accuracy.
* New HD lossless audio formats: In addition to HDMI’s current ability to support high-bandwidth uncompressed digital audio and all currently-available compressed formats (such as Dolby® Digital and DTS®), HDMI 1.3 adds additional support for new lossless compressed digital audio formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio™.

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What are the key new features in the HDMI 1.4 Specification?
* HDMI Ethernet Channel – Adds high-speed networking to an HDMI link, allowing users to take full advantage of their IP-enabled devices without a separate Ethernet cable.

* Audio Return Channel – Allows an HDMI-connected TV with a built-in tuner to send audio data "upstream" to a surround audio system, eliminating the need for a separate audio cable.

* 3D – Defines input/output protocols for major 3D video formats, paving the way for true 3D gaming and 3D home theater applications.

* 4K Support – Enables video resolutions far beyond 1080p, supporting next-generation displays that will rival the Digital Cinema systems used in many commercial movie theaters.

* Content Type – Real-time signaling of content types between display and source devices, enabling a TV to optimize picture settings based on content type.

* Additional Color Spaces – Adds support for additional color models used in digital photography and computer graphics.

* HDMI Micro Connector – A new, smaller connector for phones and other portable devices, supporting video resolutions up to 1080p.

* Automotive Connection System – New cables and connectors for automotive video systems, designed to meet the unique demands of the motoring environment while delivering true HD quality.

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What are the key new features in the HDMI 2.0 Specification?
HDMI 2.0, which is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI specifications, significantly increases bandwidth up to 18Gbps and adds key enhancements to support continuing market requirements for enhancing the consumer video and audio experience. New functionality includes:

* 4K@50/60, (2160p), which is 4 times the clarity of 1080p/60 video resolution.

* Up to 32 audio channels for a multi-dimensional immersive audio experience.

* Up to 1536kHz audio sample frequency for the highest audio fidelity.

* Simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen.

* Simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio to multiple users (up to 4).

* Support for the wide angle theatrical 21:9 video aspect ratio.

* Dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams.

* CEC extensions provides expanded command and control of consumer electronics devices through a single control point.

NOTE: HDMI 2.0 does not define new cables or new connectors. Current High Speed cables (Category 2 cables) are capable of carrying the increased bandwidth.

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What is meant by the term “Deep Color” and why is it important?
Deep Color lets HDTVs and other displays go from millions of colors to billions of colors allowing consumers to enjoy unprecedented vividness and accuracy of color on their displays. Deep Color eliminates on-screen color banding, for smooth tonal transitions and subtle gradations between colors. It enables increased contrast ratio, and can represent many times more shades of gray between black and white.

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Why is lip sync important?
In a DTV, typically the video processing takes more time than the audio. As a result, lip sync can become an issue where it’s noticeable to the viewer, creating an effect similar to that of a badly-dubbed movie. HDMI 1.3 provides a method whereby the audio processing times in devices can be automatically adjusted to remove lip sync.

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