The seven HDMI Founder companies have announced an overhaul of the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) – the standard digital interface for high definition consumer electronics, with the PlayStation 3 set to be the first device to benefit from the enhancements.
The HDMI 1.3 specification more than doubles HDMI’s bandwidth and adds support for Deep Color technology, a broader colour space, new digital audio formats, automatic audio/video synching capability and adds an optional smaller connector for use with personal photo and video devices. HDMI 1.3 increases single-link bandwidth from 165MHz (4.95 gigabits per second) to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbps) in preparation for higher resolutions/frame rates. There will also be support for 30-bit, 36-bit and 48-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depths, up from the 24-bit depths in previous versions of HDMI – which means displays go from millions of colors to billions of colors.
Other benefits include an increased contrast ratio, automatic audio/video synching capability and increased support for lossless formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, rather than the current compressed formats of Dolby Digital and DTS. The companies also stress that products implementing the new HDMI specification will continue to be backward compatible with earlier HDMI products – good news for those of that have shelled out in time for the World Cup.