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  Top » CDS » HDMI 101
HDMI 101

What is HDMI?

HDMI is the global standard for connecting high-definition Consumer Electronics and PC products. It’s the uncompressed, all-digital interface that delivers both dazzling quality and unmatched ease of use.

HDMI technology provides the highest possible signal to meet the needs of today’s – and tomorrow’s – HD entertainment systems. With a single cable, it transmits:

  • digital video
  • multi-channel surround sound
  • advanced control data

More than 800 manufacturers have adopted the HDMI standard, including some of the world’s most trusted brands.

  • 229 million HDMI-enabled devices shipped in 2008. 300 million are more projected in 2009.
  • Market research from In-Stat projects over a billion HDMI devices in the market by 2010, when every new digital TV will feature at least one HDMI port

HDMI connectivity is already standard on a wide range of products:

  • HDTVs
  • Blu-ray Disc players
  • multimedia PCs
  • gaming systems
  • digital camcorders, and more.

With HDMI connectivity, you get it all. The convenience of a one-cable solution, plus the power and performance of a high-speed digital link. Now and in the future, it’s the best way to connect HD.


Introducing HDMI 1.4

The HDMI standard just got a lot more powerful, with new capabilities designed to push the boundaries of the HD experience – both in the home and on the go.


Here are the major enhancements introduced 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 theatres. 

  • 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.

The HDMI Advantage

When you connect with HDMI technology, you’re getting the utmost in simplicity, performance, and system intelligence.


  • HDMI transmits all types of audio and video through a single digital link, eliminating "cable clutter" by replacing as many as eleven older cables
  • HDMI makes it ultra-easy to install or upgrade to an all-digital home entertainment system.
  • HDMI makes it simple to hook up other devices to your home theater system. PCs, gaming consoles, and video cameras can all be connected with the same one-plug convenience.
  • All HDMI versions are backward-compatible with previous versions.


  • All-digital. No conversion or compression needed
  • Enormous bandwidth capacity – up to 10.2 gigabits per second, more than twice the bandwidth needed to transmit a 1080p signal, such as the output from a Blu-ray Disc player.
    • Better looking movies
    • Faster gaming
    • Richer audio
  • Ready for future emerging technologies
    • Higher resolutions, like 1440p or Quad HD
    • Faster refresh rates, like 120Hz
    • Deep Color, taking the HDTV palette from millions to trillions of colors.


  • HDMI is a "smart" two-way connection that allows devices to communicate and interact with each other to dramatically improve your home theater experience.
  • Devices connected with HDMI have the ability to scan each other’s capabilities and automatically configure certain settings. An HDTV and a DVD player, for instance, can auto-negotiate settings like resolution and aspect ratio to correctly match the format of the incoming content to the highest capabilities of the TV.
  • Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) is another intelligent HDMI feature set that provides for integrated, "one-touch" commands across multiple linked components. When enabled by the manufacturer, CEC allows system-wide behaviors like one-touch play or one-touch record, where pressing a single button on a remote launches a series of coordinated commands.


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