Last week at Computex, DailyTech brought you coverage
of some of the new graphics cards that were being announced with support for
the HDMI interface. The interface is herald to be the definitive standard for
audio/video equipment, both for the home theater and the desktop and media
center space. HIS
revealed its lineup of HDMI capable graphics cards and earlier this year; Universal Abit
announced motherboards supporting HDMI too. With all the new HDMI-compliant
products that are starting to come out, consumers were starting to finally have
their fears soothed about
This week however, it looks like users who were looking forward to start
picking up HDMI-compliant devices will have something to think about yet again.
In an announcement, the HDMI group which is composed of a large number of companies
said that the HDMI specification will be upgraded to a new version. Called HDMI
1.3, the new specification will support a feature called "deep
color," allowing devices to process and display a great number of colors.
Increased bandwidth is also part of the new specification. HDMI 1.3 will be
upgraded to 225MHz, from 165MHz on the current HDMI specification. In fact, the
group indicated that HDMI can go up to 450MHz if need be. The increased
bandwidth will allow displays to handle 1080i at 60Hz with 36-bit RGB color or
1080p with 90Hz refresh rate with 36-bit color.
Resolutions and refresh rates aside however, the specification has support for
30-bit, 36-bit or even 48-bit RGB. According
to a report on ExtremeTech, the ITU 601 standard governs today's
displays, whether they are computer LCDs or plasma TVs and are limiting the
number of colors that can be displayed.
HDMI LLC president Leslie Chard said that ATI and NVIDIA can incorporate the
new HDMI standard into GPUs and cards easily, and that Sony's upcoming
PlayStation 3 already has support for "deep color". In fact, both the
Blu-ray and HD-DVD specifications call for support of "deep color"
but neither side has announced any support for it or that of any feature part
of HDMI 1.3.
Unfortunately for early adopters, the new features of HDMI 1.3 are not
currently available and cannot be simply enabled by a firmware upgrade or a
driver update. The new HDMI 1.3 will also support Dolby HD and DTS-HD audio
standards, which are an upgrade over the current Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS
DailyTech has been reporting on a number of display standards to emerge
this year. They include: HDMI, UDI and DisplayPort.
Interestingly, most these technologies have not yet been available to consumers.