Maybe you already know that HDMI is the digital interface that lets you connect HDTV devices to transfer image and audio signals. Early HDTV models didn’t include it, but most recent models have an HDMI connector and sometimes even two. But did you realize that there’s now a new version of HDMI?
The companies that founded the HDMI standard have announced version 1.3 of the standard. This new design increases the bandwidth, which means that it will be able to handle the high resolution and increased frame rates of new display designs. It also supports more colors, which could result in better on-screen image quality. And it includes some interesting features such as a lip sync function that is designed to automatically synchronize the sound and video streams. The specification also offers a new, smaller connector as an option. So there will now be two different HDMI connectors.
I understand the need to expand the standard, but some of these steps will complicate matters more rather than simplify them. And there’s already plenty of confusion over HDTV connectivity. Having to choose between different HDMI cables and connectors will only make it more difficult. And it appears that we’ll still have to wait for implementation of helpful features such as letting one device control others, such as having your TV set turn on your home theater sound system and your DVD player when you choose to watch a DVD. Fortunately, HDMI 1.3 is backward compatible with earlier versions, so at least you can still plug them into each other, even though it means the connection will only work as well as the lowest standard device.