The HDMI Forum has announced version 2.0 of the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), which supports high-speed, uncompressed video and audio transfer from set-top boxes and DVD players to HDTV sets. It is also used in some video monitors, projectors, and other video gear.
The HDMI Forum develops, maintains, supports, promotes, tests, certifies, and licenses HDMI technology to adopters. The standard defines the physical interface, data format, protocol, coding, data rates, cables, and connectors. Since it was first introduced in 2003, it has been continuously updated with new versions. It is the most common digital video interface used in all types of consumer video products.
Version 2.0 was designed to accommodate higher-resolution TV sets and video monitors with 4K resolution. The 4K designation defines the number of scan lines and pixels per line. So-called 4K Ultra HD definition TV sets boast 3840 pixels and 2160 lines. Another standard uses 4096 pixels and 2160 lines. There are other 4K versions used by manufacturers of HDTV sets, video monitors, and digital cinema equipment. Version 2.0 supports 4K at 50/60 frames per second, also known as 2160p. That’s four times the resolution of the current 1080p/60 standard. The latest specification offers a data rate to 18 Gbits/s.
The new specification also boasts backward compatibility with previous generations of HDMI cables and connectors, up to 32 channels of audio, a maximum 1536-kHz audio sample rate for improved fidelity, and simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio for up to four users. It provides simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen and supports the wide-angle theatrical 21:9 video aspect ratio too. Additionally, version 2.0 offers dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams as well as extensions to the Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) feature of HDMI, which lets users command and control up to 15 CEC-enabled devices from a single control point.
HDMI 2.0 is the first specification developed fully by the HDMI Forum’s Technical Working Group, which comprises representatives of some of the 88 member companies. The specification is available now. The HDMI 2.0 Compliance Test Specification (CTS) is expected to be available before the end of 2013. For details on the specification and licensing, contact the HDMI Forum at www.hdmi.org.