Recently at CES in Las Vegas, it was noticeable the buzz about HDMI 1.3 was catching on. Does anyone really know why? Has anyone bothered to check wikipedia on it? Apparently, HDMI 1.3 has twice the single link bandwidth. It is now up to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbps). The color depths have increased to support 30-bit, 36-bit, and 48-bit (RGB or YCbCr) colors including support for over 1 billion colors, where all previous versions only had 24-bit. On top of support for xvYVV color standards, it now provides more support for audio streams.

These audio streams now support Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio which can be decoded by AV receivers. These are lossless audio codec formats that the high definition DVD players support. HDMI version 1.3 was also released with a new mini connector for devices that require smaller outputs, like a camcorder or portable video device.

The new HDMI standard also can transmit the high definition signals farther than the original version. Originally, 15ft. was the maximum an HDMI signal could be sent before signal degradation began. HDMI 1.3 devices can send full resolution signals over 30 ft.

It is obvious that support for HDMI 1.3 devices will grow, much as did the USB changeover to USB 2.0. It will take time, but we will probably soon look back and try to imagine how we ever lived with out it. Now that HDMI also has the ability to transfer data over 10.2 Gbps, we will also most likely see it being used in other area of ​​the home audio / video market, possibly even more versatile than USB.


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