It's no doubt that HDMI changed the lives of videophiles, home theater enthusiasts, gamers, basically everyone who needs to send a AV signal between a source and a display. Simply defined, it carries both audio and video in a single cable, digitally. Over the years HDMI has been improving, widening its bandwidth, allowing more types of data to be encoded and transferred etc. Sometime mid 2009, HDMI 1.4 was officially announced, and by now a couple of products are sporting it. It's a real solid upgrade, with some really nice features added to it, thus if you are one who enjoys your audio video gear read on to see what’s new in HDMI 1.4.

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Ethernet Channel
Yes, it's possible now in HDMI 1.4 to avail the network via your HDMI cable. The HDMI 1.4 specification adds a data channel to the HDMI connection, enabling high-speed, bi-directional communication. Connected devices that include this feature can send and receive data via 100 Mb/sec Ethernet, making them instantly ready for any IP-based application.

The 1.4 version of the specification defines common 3D formats and resolutions for HDMI-enabled devices, enabling 3D gaming and other 3D video applications. The specification standardizes the input/output portion of the home 3D system, facilitating 3D resolutions up to dual-stream 1080p.

4K Resolution Support
Now HDMI 1.4 devices can support extremely high HD resolutions, effectively four times the resolution of a 1080p device. The 4K res support now enables HDMI to transmit video data at the same resolution as the state-of-the-art Digital Cinema systems used in many movie theaters. Nice!

Expanded Support For Color Spaces
By supporting sYCC601, AdobeRGB, and AdobeYCC601, HDMI display devices are capable of displaying more accurate, life-like colors when connected to a digital camera. HDMI now supports color spaces designed specifically for digital still cameras, enabling more accurate color rendering when viewing digital photos.

HDMI Micro Connector (Type D)
The HDMI Micro Connector is a significantly smaller 19-pin HDMI connector supporting up to 1080p resolutions for portable devices such as cell phones, portable media players, and digital cameras. This new connector is approximately 50% smaller than the size of the existing HDMI Mini connector.

Automotive Connection System (Type E)
The HDMI 1.4 specification provides a solution designed to meet the rigors and environmental issues commonly found in automobiles, such as heat, vibration and noise. Using the Automotive Connection System, car manufacturers now have a viable solution for HD distribution within a vehicle.

Some important Notes: Are HDMI 1.4 devices going to be backwards-compatible with older HDMI (v.1.0 – 1.3) devices? Yes. Also, can older HDMI (v.1.0 – 1.3) devices be firmware-upgraded to take advantage of the new features introduced in HDMI 1.4? No.

Info sourced from the HDMI official website.

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