The HDMI 1.4 is finally here

Finally! Since the announcement of AMD’s famous HD3D technology which is the marketing name around his features “3D”, we waited the arrival on the market first screen HDMI 1.4a. This is the case of Acer and HS244HQ proposed around € 369

So let’s start at the beginning. It is first necessary to know that, physically, a base connector (Type A) HDMI 1.4 does not differ from previous versions. There are still 19 pins, and it is the same at its maximum, which is 10.2 Gbps, the signal frequency is unchanged (340 MHz).

Compatibility is assured and perfectly so there is no need to buy a HDMI cable stamped 1.4. It does not exist and the standard prohibits such a practice builders. In fact, it defined two cables at the base:

  • Standard: tested to 75 MHz, 2.25 Gbps, 720p60 / 1080i60
  • High speed: 340 MHz tested, 10.2 Gbps, 1080p60

Warning, this is a certification. Cable “Standard” can work very well in 1080p60 without any problems, and this is often the case in practice, but it has not been tested, and is not guaranteed.

Although the physical and electrical characteristics of the HDMI do not change in version 1.4, the protocol, it was largely reworked.

We will not go into details here but from the list we note the arrival of the channel for the transfer of information “network”, a return channel audio for a TV, for example, to send information to a amp or the management of extended color spaces.

In terms of connectors, in addition to the standard (A), and its mini version (C) which are identical in power, the type D and E are emerging. The first is a more compact format, said microphone. The dimensions of these three connectors are:

  • Type A: 13.39 x 4.45 mm
  • Type C: 10.42 x 2.42 mm
  • Type D: 7.80 x 2.94 mm

This new type D supports all of the new HDMI 1.4 and maintains the 19 pins. In the FAQ of the HDMI 1.4, it is stated that it supports 1080p, but 4k is not mentioned. However, it should not have to worry about in practice, the flow is identical to a cable “High Speed” (340 MHz / 10.2 Gbps).

Finally, the board reserved for the car is thought to be more robust and adapted to the needs of its integration into a car. It sees through its limited capacity, as against the maximum resolution it supports is 720p / 1080i and the dedicated channel to the network can not be used.

Also new in the HDMI 1.4: the arrival of 4K. This term is in fact cache support a maximum resolution of 4096×2160 while the screen 30 “current peak at 2560×1600.

The flow did not increase; it is the frequency which is reduced:

  • 3840×2160 @ 24 / 25 / 30 Hz
  • 4096×2160 @ 24 Hz

Let me tell you that this is the video use and large portfolios are involved, the 4K is not really a standard at this time on the consumer market.

Now to the big piece: the stereoscopic 3D. The experience of the NVIDIA 3D Vision technology or PS3 taught us two things:

  • The HDMI 1.4 is not required for 3D support
  • The presence of HDMI 1.4 involves the management of 3D for the respective device

It must be understood a thing, stereoscopic 3D is, ultimately, the use of two images which are each intended for a different way. The transmitter must be capable of transmitting these images, or create them in the case of 3D games. The receiver, it will have for cons need to be able to understand the images sent to it.

Many formats exist under names as obscure as “Side by Side”, “Top and bottom”, “Frame alternative” … but only one is required under the standard that defines the HDMI 1.4: The “Frame packing.”

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