Leaks have come out about the next version of the HDMI standard. There are a few interesting additions that have been made, but many of them are a bit confusing as to the real benefit that they will offer.
Leaks have come out about the next version of the HDMI
standard. There are a few interesting additions that have been made,
but many of them are a bit confusing as to the real benefit that they
will offer. Ethernet connectivity is being implemented in the cable,
but considering that you would still have to have an Ethernet output to
begin with, and then daisy chain all of the components together (which
many are not set up to achieve at this point) you would still need to
have each one connected. As well, most products that use Ethernet are
also set up with WiFi, or have WiFi accessories to enable the
functionality, reducing the need for stand alone wiring.
A further downside to the Ethernet connection is that there
are going to be two cables available, one for low data rates and one
for high data rates. Given that consumers can now buy an Ethernet cable
for cheap and expect to get full bandwidth from the set up it is going
to be confusing for everyone involved to have to determine which cable
is the correct one, and suffer the consequences if the wrong one is
Resolutions of 4096 x 2160 pixels at 30Hz has increased from
1080p. However, there are few products that are able to take advantage
of this improvement, and few (if any) digital sources (with the
exception of BluRay and gaming consoles) are even able to send 1080p
signals. For example my cable provider only sends 1080i or 720p
signals, so having the ability to transmit 4096 x 2160 pixels across an
HDMI v1.4 cable is not going to do me a lot of good.
There is the capability to stream audio to an amplifier,
reducing the need for an optical audio cable. But I am not sure that is
sufficient to warrant a new version of the standard when the other
features seem to be too far down the road to really make much of a
One thing that is interesting is the ability to support 3D
capabilities which will automatically be optimized for the source. This
is something that is going to be coming out in the future, so it seems
that the standard is going to capitalize on that front.
And not only is HDMI v1.4 coming in 2010, there is also
another standard that is already in the market place. An in depth look
at "DisplayPort versus HDMI: Do we really need
two digital-display-interface standards?" talks about the
pros and cons of each solution.