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HDMI Releases 1.4a Specification

by March 05, 2010
HDMI 1.4a released

HDMI 1.4a released

HDMI Licensing, LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) specification, today announced the release of HDMI Specification Version 1.4a featuring enhancements for 3D applications including the addition of mandatory 3D formats for broadcast content as well as the addition of the 3D format referred to as Top-and-Bottom. The complete HDMI Specification Version 1.4a, along with the 1.4a version of the Compliance Test Specification (CTS), is available to Adopters on the HDMI Adopter Extranet.

An extraction of the 3D portion of Specification Version 1.4a is available for public download on the HDMI Web site. The purpose of the extraction document is to provide public access to the 3D portion of the HDMI Specification for those companies and organizations that are not HDMI Adopters but require access to this portion of the Specification.

“We published these latest enhancements to support the market need for broadcast 3D content. When we launched 1.4 in June of 2009, we deferred the selection of mandatory 3D format(s) for broadcast content until the market direction was more clearly defined. The market has spoken and the HDMI Consortium has listened and responded to accommodate those market needs.”

- Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing, LLC.

The latest HDMI Specification adds key enhancements to support the market requirements for bringing broadcast 3D content into the home:

1. The addition of Top-and-Bottom to the Specification.

2. The addition of two mandatory formats for broadcast content:

  • Side-by-Side Horizontal
  • Top-and-Bottom

With the addition of these two mandatory formats, the HDMI Specification Version 1.4a provides a level of interoperability for devices designed to deliver 3D content over the HDMI connection. The mandatory 3D formats are:

3D Mandatory Formats

  • For movie content:
    • Frame Packing
      • 1080p @ 23.98/24Hz
  • For game content:
    • Frame Packing
      • 720p @ 50 or 59.94/60Hz
  • For broadcast content:
    • Side-by-Side Horizontal
      • 1080i @ 50 or 59.94/60Hz
    • Top-and-Bottom
      • 720p @ 50 or 59.94/60Hz
      • 1080p @ 23.97/24Hz

Implementing the mandatory formats of the HDMI Specification facilitates interoperability among devices, allowing devices to speak a common 3D language when transmitting and receiving 3D content. The mandatory requirements for devices implementing 3D formats are:

  • Displays – must support all mandatory formats.
  • Sources – must support at least one mandatory format.
  • Repeaters - must be able to pass through all mandatory formats.

HDMI Adopters will have 90 days from the publication of the Specification Version 1.4a to build and sell products that are compliant with 1.4a as well as pass the CTS Version 1.4a. This also applies to legacy set-top boxes that may have upgraded to use Specification Version 1.4 signaling.

For more information about the HDMI specification please visit http://www.hdmi.org.

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

B1-66ER posts on March 09, 2010 17:47
Clint DeBoer, post: 695345
<rant>Audio return channel and Ethernet are great ideas, however if HDMI had been a more open platform to begin with, you wouldn't need a cable change - Ethernet could simply have been dealt with from a bandwidth standpoint - similar to how I can send audio, video, data, etc over a single Ethernet cable. I don't need a new cable to send data+video. When people started streaming media I didn't suddenly have to update my cable to Cat5Q.</rant>
Ethernet addition is a great idea, it goes far for those with new profile BR and a true multimedia receiver, I'd hate to have TWO Ethernet cables running from my wall. Of course I expect, like everything in our money see money get economy, HDMI 1.4 Ethernet wont work as desired, but every receiver manuf will be making TONS of receivers that support it, rather than just waiting for 1.4 which will ultimately iron all the bugs out. And your point, Clint, about Ethernet working just fine to do what it took HDMI 1.4 spec to do (and more!). If only I could pass protected signals to my receiver!, of course I don't have a dedicated BR player, I have a nice HTPC and a receiver, so I just rip my BR discs.

Clint DeBoer, post: 695345
<rant>HDMI is like a condensed bundle of shielded coax cables, each carrying complex, proprietary information. It's ridiculous and the entire industry embraced it like puppets.</rant>
A-friggin-men!
BoredSysAdmin posts on March 06, 2010 19:59
egreen1976, post: 695215
Not that I care about the 1.4 capabilities at the moment but I would like to drop $2500 on a pre pro without having to worry about desiring 1.4 in a year or so. The computer cycle isn't quite the same, if I want usb 3.0 it's a matter of a PCI card.

Hdmi 1.4 snow leopard - what a joke!

Most computers sold now days are laptops & netbooks - for both upgrade options are quite limited. yes, you can get usb 3 express card - but it'll require additional external power supply - so while yes, doable - convenient? hardly.
But How to you upgrade video card or processor of laptop?? and trust me they change much quicker than usb or hdmi versions. Also desktops - newer processor will guarantee to require newer motherboard and memory - basically a whole new computer.


I'd also like to have my electronic gadgets to last and be current, but our realities just disagree. We can embrace it or go back to caves

What I find extremely funny is that HDMI no longer allows manufacturers to use the release numbers…
What ??
I'm shocked !!
AVRat posts on March 06, 2010 15:34
What's HDMI??
Clint DeBoer posts on March 06, 2010 13:24
GlocksRock, post: 694907
so now how long till the next HDMI spec comes out?
I dunno, at least 15-20 minutes…

What I find extremely funny is that HDMI no longer allows manufacturers to use the release numbers… 1.4, 1.4a, etc… but finds that the most convenient way for themselves to alert others to a new release with unique features. In my opinion, they shouldn't be able to use numbers either if they think that's such a great idea.

Steve Venuti is a smart guy and I think he's doing a great job with what he has, but HDMI - as a format - is simply a complete and utter mess in my opinion.

<rant>Audio return channel and Ethernet are great ideas, however if HDMI had been a more open platform to begin with, you wouldn't need a cable change - Ethernet could simply have been dealt with from a bandwidth standpoint - similar to how I can send audio, video, data, etc over a single Ethernet cable. I don't need a new cable to send data+video. When people started streaming media I didn't suddenly have to update my cable to Cat5Q.

HDMI is like a condensed bundle of shielded coax cables, each carrying complex, proprietary information. It's ridiculous and the entire industry embraced it like puppets.</rant>
egreen1976 posts on March 05, 2010 21:52
The “cable” upgrade cycle is ridiculous. I've been eyeing pre pros for 3 years now, waiting for not so eminent releases, finding offerings that were lacking of features i felt were essential. Not that I care about the 1.4 capabilities at the moment but I would like to drop $2500 on a pre pro without having to worry about desiring 1.4 in a year or so. The computer cycle isn't quite the same, if I want usb 3.0 it's a matter of a PCI card.


Sadly, all the compression, codecs and constant upgrading has drivin me back to analog audio. So now I'll pay top dollar for an analog preamp with HT bypass, I'll by a cheaper processor such as (UMC-1) and then I dont have to have the expectation of the processor being current for 4+years.

Hdmi 1.4 snow leopard - what a joke!
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