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Wall Plates for HDMI and Audio Video






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HDMI Versions and Q&A

Q. What is the difference between HDMI 1.3 and HDMI 1.3a, or 1.3b?
A. For consumers, there is no difference between HDMI version 1.3 and 1.3a or 1.3b. These minor revisions to the specification typically relate to manufacturing or testing issues and do not impact features or functionality. In addition, HDMI Licensing, LLC is actively working with manufacturers to reduce confusion for consumers by de-emphasizing version numbers and focusing instead on product features and functionality.
For Adopters, the latest HDMI Specification is v1.3a and the latest HDMI Compliance Test Specification (CTS) is 1.3b1.
Q. What is the difference between Active HDMI and Passive HDMI?
A. There is no active or passive HDMI in the test specification. These terms apply to cables. Active cables have built-in electronics to enable long cable runs, and typically these cables require a power supply. These cables use active electronics to help push the signal farther than typical passive cables.
Q. How can a consumer identify which HDMI products support a specific feature, such as DVD Audio or Deep Color?
A. The key for consumers to remember is that HDMI has consistently enabled a variety of the most innovative new technologies (whether they be DVD Audio, SACD, 1080p/60, etc.). However, in many cases, it is up to each manufacturer to choose which features to implement in any given product. The manufacturer can thus use its knowledge of the market to choose the mix of features that makes sense for its customers. So, customers must choose devices that have the features that they want (instead of focusing on which version of HDMI is implemented by the device.). Consumers interested in confirming whether a particular consumer electronics product supports DVD-Audio or any other feature over HDMI are urged to review users’ manuals and product reviews and check with manufacturers directly.

Q. When was the HDMI Specification released?
A. The initial HDMI 1.0 specification was released in December 2002. Version 1.1 was released in May 2004. Version 1.2 was released in August of 2005. Version 1.2a was released in December of 2005. Version 1.3 was released in June of 2006.
Q. What functionality was added to each version of HDMI? A. The following provides an overview of major functionality added to each version of HDMI:
HDMI 1.1:
Support for DVD Audio. HDMI 1.2:
Adds features and capabilities that increase HDMI's appeal for use in both the CE and PC industries. Specifically, the features and modifications for HDMI 1.2 include: Support for One Bit Audio format, such as SuperAudio CD's DSD (Direct Stream Digital), changes to offer better support for current and future PCs with HDMI outputs, including: availability of the widely-used HDMI Type A connector for PC sources and displays with full support for PC video formats, ability for PC sources to use their native RGB color space while retaining the option to support the YCbCr CE color space, requirement for HDMI 1.2 and later displays to support future low-voltage (i.e., AC-coupled) sources, such as those based on PCI Express I/O technology. HDMI 1.2a:
Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) features and command sets and CEC compliance tests are now fully specified. Creation of version 1.2a of the HDMI Compliance Test Specification (CTS), which includes a CEC Supplement. HDMI CTS 1.2a has been updated for technical consistency with HDMI Specification 1.2a as well as to the recently released HDMI Specification 1.2. Significantly, CTS 1.2a contains additional cable and connector testing and Authorized Testing Center (ATC) submission requirements. Specifically, under CTS 1.2a, the Adopter shall submit for testing to the ATC any new HDMI cable whose length exceeds previously tested cables. Additionally, HDMI Licensing, LLC will maintain a list of approved connectors. For a device to pass CTS 1.2a testing at an ATC, all connectors on such device must appear on the approved connector list. To add a connector to this list, the vendor must submit to the ATC or HDMI Licensing, LLC full and passing testing results.
HDMI 1.3:
Higher speed: 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 10-bit, 12-bit and 16-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depths, up from the 8-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 “x.v.Color™” (which is the consumer name describing the IEC 61966-2-4 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™.

Q. Are all of the new HDMI versions backward compatible with previous versions?
A. Yes, all HDMI versions are fully backward compatible with all previous versions.

Q. What’s new in the HDMI 1.3 Specification? A. Higher speed: Although all previous versions of HDMI have had more than enough bandwidth to support all current HDTV formats, including full, uncompressed 1080p signals, 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 10-bit, 12-bit and 16-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depths, up from the 8-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 “x.v.Color™” (which is the consumer name describing the IEC 61966-2-4 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™.

Q. Do I need v1.3 HDMI to hear the new Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master HD audio content on HD-DVD or Blu-ray players?
A. No. The Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD Master Audio can be decoded by the playback device into multi-channel Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) digital audio streams, which is an audio format standard that can be sent over any version of HDMI. In fact, all versions of HDMI can support up to 8 channels of PCM audio at 192kHz, 24 bits per sample.
To do this, consumers should ensure that their playback device (such as HD-DVD or Blu-ray player) is capable of decoding these new lossless Dolby & DTS audio formats into the PCM format on the HDMI output, and that the audio device (such as an A/V receiver) is capable of receiving multi-channel PCM audio over the HDMI inputs. Consult your user manual/product specification sheet to determine whether your device supports such PCM capabilities (we believe that nearly all HD-DVD and Blu-ray players will, but users should confirm this). Devices that support HDMI v1.3 and higher may also offer the option to transport the high definition audio formats as a compressed, encoded stream over HDMI so that the decoding function can be performed by the A/V receiver (whereas the above transport method has the playback device performing the decoding).

Q. What is the difference in quality between listening to Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD over HDMI, SPDIF (i.e. coax or optical), or analog from the player to the A/V receiver?
A. HDMI provides the highest quality as it enables the full, lossless audio data of Dolby TrueHD to be transferred digitally to the AV receiver, and enables the A/V receiver to apply its full digital audio processing capabilities (such as bass management, or sound field processing effects) to further enhance the audio quality. SPDIF does not have the ability to support the data rates required by Dolby TrueHD, and thus will not support it. Analog will be lower quality than HDMI due to two reasons: 1) the nature of analog transmission is lossy and will degrade while transported over the cables, 2) many A/V receivers will not apply any digital audio processing to the analog inputs, and in such cases analog signals will be sent directly to the amplifier without the benefit of such processing.

Q. What products or applications will take advantage of new HDMI 1.3 capabilities?
A. According to announcements by manufacturers, new high-definition DVD formats (HD-DVD and Blu-ray) and game machines (including the Sony PLAYSTATION® 3) will make use of capabilities added in HDMI 1.3. Digital televisions will be able to present images that are closer to real life than previously has been possible. These will include LCD TVs, plasma displays and rear projection microdisplays. The PS3 was the first source product to provide such high quality imagery to these displays. A wide array of new products featuring the most advanced HDMI 1.3-enabled connectivity such as x.v.Color, Deep Color and the finest high bit-rate audio have come to market from major players including Denon, Mitsubishi, Onkyo, Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba and Yamaha, with more products expected to be introduced for the 2007 holiday season.

Q. When will products with HDMI 1.3 capabilities be available to the public?
A. They are available now. Check with individual manufacturers for details.

Q. How will consumers know which products have the latest implementation of HDMI 1.3?
A. Consumers should not look for a particular version of HDMI, but rather for the functionality that they want the device to support (Deep Color, specific audio formats, etc.). Alternatively, consumers can look for support for these features called out in the manufacturer’s product information.
Q. Is HDMI 1.3 backward compatible with prior releases of the HDMI spec and with DVI?
A. Yes, HDMI is fully backward compatible with all prior releases of the HDMI spec, as well as DVI compliant devices.

Q. Do you need a new version of HDMI to play Blu-ray and HD-DVD content in high definition?
A. All versions of the HDMI specification support the ability to watch HD-DVD / Blu-ray content in high definition up to 1080p resolution. However, there may be non-HDMI reasons that prevent some devices from accessing content in high definition, including lack of HDCP support.
Q. Are HDMI 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 compatible with the next generation video game consoles implementing 1080p and HDMI’s new Deep Color capability?
A. The HDMI specification has supported 1080p content since version 1.0, and each new revision of the HDMI specification is fully backward compatible with previous revisions.
In June 2006, the HDMI Founders announced HDMI 1.3 and new capabilities to support Deep Color (up to 16-bit color RGB color) and new loss less audio formats (such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio). PCs and video game consoles in particular are expected to be capable of delivering content that takes advantage of HDMI's latest capabilities. When such sources are interfaced to older HDMI HDTVs, the source should automatically select the highest quality video and audio performance supported by the HDTV.


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