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  • Writer's pictureJacob Reek

HDMI Reference Guide

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

HDMI, or High-Definition Multimedia Interface, is a digital interface used for transmitting high-definition video and audio signals between devices. It was introduced in 2002 as a replacement for older analog video standards such as VGA and Component Video.

HDMI supports several different formats for transmitting audio and video signals, including:

  1. HDMI 1.0-1.2: The first version of HDMI supported up to 1080i video resolution and uncompressed stereo audio.

  2. HDMI 1.3-1.4: This version of HDMI added support for higher video resolutions, including 1080p and 3D video, as well as new audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

  3. HDMI 2.0: This version of HDMI increased the maximum video resolution to 4K at 60 frames per second, and added support for wider color gamuts and high dynamic range (HDR) video.

  4. HDMI 2.1: The latest version of HDMI, released in 2017, supports even higher video resolutions, including 8K at 60 frames per second, and adds new features such as variable refresh rate (VRR) and enhanced audio return channel (eARC) for better compatibility with advanced audio systems.

In addition to these formats, HDMI also supports various types of audio and video data, including:

  1. Uncompressed Audio: HDMI can transmit uncompressed digital audio data in various formats, including PCM (Pulse Code Modulation), LPCM (Linear Pulse Code Modulation), and DSD (Direct Stream Digital).

  2. Compressed Audio: HDMI also supports various compressed audio formats, such as Dolby Digital, DTS, and AAC.

  3. Video Data: HDMI can transmit various video data formats, including RGB (Red Green Blue), YUV (YCbCr), and HDMI-specific formats such as 4:2:0 and 4:4:4.

  4. 3D Video: HDMI 1.4 and later versions support 3D video data formats, such as Side-by-Side (SBS) and Top-and-Bottom (TAB).

  5. Ethernet: Some HDMI cables also include an Ethernet channel, which allows for network connectivity between HDMI-enabled devices.

When setting up an audio video system using HDMI, it's important to make sure that all devices support the same HDMI version and format, as well as the specific audio and video data formats needed for your content. It's also important to use high-quality HDMI cables that are capable of transmitting the required data rates and support the required features, such as HDR or 3D video.

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