HDMI Gets a Facelift

Development plans for the next version of the popular High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) standard were announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show by the seven founding companies (Hitachi, Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic), Philips Consumer Electronics International B.V., Silicon Image, Inc., Sony Corp., Thomson, Inc. and Toshiba Corp.). These new standards are set to be rolled out in the first half of this year.

The new standards and the devices they are programmed into, which will be compatible with earlier generation HDMI enabled consumer electronics, include, according to a press release:

  • Higher speed: Though HDMI has more than twice the bandwidth needed to support all HDTV formats, HDMI will increase its single-link bandwidth to support the demands of future HD display devices, such as higher resolutions, deep color and high frame rates.
  • Deep color: HDMI will support 30-bit, 36-bit and 48-bit color depths for stunning rendering of over one billion colors in unprecedented detail.
  • Greater PC/CE convergence: HDMI will be enhanced for easier integration into low voltage, AC-coupled PC graphics controllers, cementing HDMI’s position as the de facto standard digital multimedia interface enabling true convergence across PC and CE platforms. The HDMI Founders also support compatibility between HDMI and the Unified Display Interface (UDI), the HDMI-compatible digital video interface for PC displays announced recently by a group of leading PC technology makers.
  • New mini connector: With small portable devices such as HD camcorders and still cameras demanding seamless HDTV connectivity, HDMI will offer a new, smaller form-factor connector option. Since HDMI offers the highest quality digital audio and video on a single connection, such devices will be also benefit from a reduced connector count.
  • Lip Sync: CE devices are employing increasingly complex digital signal processing of high-resolution video and audio formats to enhance the clarity and detail of the content. As a result, synchronization of video and audio in user devices has become a greater challenge and could potentially require complex end-user adjustments. HDMI will incorporate features to enable this synchronization to be done automatically by the devices with greater accuracy.
  • New compressed 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 will add additional support for new compressed digital audio formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD.

In addition, it was announced by HDMI Licensing, LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the HDMI standard, that more than 300 makers of consumer electronics and computer products have adopted the standard. This amounts to more than 17 million HDMI devices having shipped last year and 59 million more expected in 2006.

“HDMI is an evolving standard, designed to meet the needs of a dynamic marketplace,” said Leslie Chard, president of HDMI Licensing, LLC. “These new capabilities, currently under development, reflect how HDMI continues to adapt to new market developments, specifically the need for increased bandwidth and the inevitable convergence of consumer electronics with PC devices.”

Home Theater

What are HDMI ARC and eARC? Here’s how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC and how it can make your life easier.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances in home entertainment to arrive in years.
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘T-34,’ ‘An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. To simplify things, we round up the best ones each week. On tap this week: The trailers for An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn and T-34, among other movie previews.
Movies & TV

Stay inside (and in the dark) with the best horror movies on Netflix right now

There's no need to scour the entire Netflix catalog for the hits. We've compiled a list of the best horror movies on Netflix, whether you're into modern monsters or classic scares.
Movies & TV

Brewing nightmare fuel with the FX team behind the ‘Stranger Things’ Demogorgon

Mike Elizalde, co-founder of makeup and creature effects studio Spectral Motion, explains how his team brought the Demogorgon from Stranger Things and Robot from Lost in Space to terrifying, compelling life on the screen.
Home Theater

Bowers & Wilkins’ affordable 600 Series speakers sound better than ever

Bowers & Wilkins has revamped its entry-level speaker lineup, borrowing some goodness from the company's flagship 800 Series speakers, which brings a more refined sound signature while keeping impressively low price points. What's not to…
Home Theater

Google has a new Chromecast on the way, but don’t expect a major leap forward

An FCC filing by Google shows that the company is planning to release an updated model of its highly popular Chromecast streaming hardware, but you might not even notice to look at it.
Home Theater

Images found in a beta of iOS 12 reveal the next-generation AirPods 2

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.
Home Theater

Demystify home audio with our ultimate A/V receiver buying guide

Today's A/V receivers are packed with lots of advanced technology and just plain cool features. From understanding watt ratings to Wi-Fi, we explain how to buy one that will last you for years in our ultimate A/V receiver buying guide.
Music

Bolster your HD music catalog with the best high-res audio sites

Music connoisseurs relish HD audio, but scouring the web for all the best streaming and downloading sites can be a pain. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Check out our list, and let the high-resolution good times roll.
Home Theater

Need to get rid of an unused Netflix profile? Here's what to do

Need to delete an unwanted profile from your Netflix account? It's easy to do, no matter what kind of equipment you've got. Check out our handy how-to guide for step-by-step instructions.
Home Theater

Our quick-and-easy guide to programming an RCA universal remote

If you're tired of using a million different remotes in your home theater, office, or living room, you'll likely be interested in a single RCA universal remote. Here's how to program it for your system.