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Print 33 comment(s) - last by RMTimeKill.. on Jul 5 at 5:40 PM

Hold your horses, HDMI has another revision on the way

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 conflicting standards.

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 standards.

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.



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This is ridiculous
By ElFenix on 6/13/2006 4:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
i guess it'll be even longer before i get a 24" LCD. i'm not buying one until the finalized HDMI/HDCP spec is out. no point in getting something that actually WILL be obsolete that quickly. not that there are graphics cards that handle the interface. but a monitor is probably the component i and everyone else upgrades the least (and costs the most), so i want one that lasts.

by the time they've got this all done maybe Canon will have 24" SED displays up and running. that'd be awesome.




RE: This is ridiculous
By One43637 on 6/13/2006 5:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
i guess it'll be even longer before i get a 24" LCD. i'm not buying one until the finalized HDMI/HDCP spec is out. no point in getting something that actually WILL be obsolete that quickly. not that there are graphics cards that handle the interface. but a monitor is probably the component i and everyone else upgrades the least (and costs the most), so i want one that lasts.


yeah i agree with you there. i'm not going to buy a bigger LCD till they get this sorted out.

it's a shame the 7950 GX2 doesn't have HDMI outs; according to this page it's already HDCP compliant.

http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=795...


RE: This is ridiculous
By masher2 (blog) on 6/13/2006 5:43:44 PM , Rating: 3
> "i guess it'll be even longer before i get a 24" LCD. i'm not buying one until the finalized HDMI/HDCP..."

Nonsense. Putting off a buying decision for this is just plain silly. There will never be a "final" HDMI spec...not until the standard is dead and buried. As for 1.3 itself, the extra bandwidth isn't going to do you any good if the monitor can't display it. Finding a current LCD that can accurately render 32 bit color is hard enough, much less 36 bit or higher. And a month after the first 1.3 monitors are available, they'll announce the 1.4 spec.

HDMI on an LCD monitor is near-pointless anyway. What do you want it for? Integrated audio...when monitor speakers are pathetic, if they even exist? For concerns over the ICT flag...when studios have announced they won't enable it for years, if ever?

If you want to use it as a TV, then fine...HDMI 1.2 is more than fine for the resolutions and color depths supported by current LCD displays. Waiting for this "upgrade" is wholly pointless.


RE: This is ridiculous
By Eric2203 on 6/13/2006 7:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
It's worth having if it starts behaving like a TV to watch movies. There was talk of Vista incorporating HDCP and requiring HDCP-compliant monitors (read: with the keys burned, not compliant as in 'it's possible provided someone has the keys' that video cards have now) to watch DVD movies with a computer.


RE: This is ridiculous
By masher2 (blog) on 6/13/2006 7:52:14 PM , Rating: 1
As I said...if you want to use it as a TV, then HDMI 1.2 is more than adequate. If and when HDCP-compliance becomes mandatory, you'll still be covered.


RE: This is ridiculous
By Eric2203 on 6/14/2006 7:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. I was replying to you saying "HDMI on an LCD monitor is near-pointless anyway". You ddidn't say HDMI 1.3.

Either way, agreed.


RE: This is ridiculous
By RMTimeKill on 7/5/2006 5:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
not to mention, this was all over a 24 inch...not a 60+ Plasma, heck not even a 30"+ widescreen with good resolutions... not like hes breaking the bank here... its a 24" LCD... replacable in 2-3 yrs...


I thought the HDMI standard was a set standard
By 13Gigatons on 6/13/2006 4:23:30 PM , Rating: 2
Bloody hell why do we need yet another standard already. They had plenty of bandwidth with the first one.

quote:
When was the HDMI specification released?
The HDMI 1.0 specification was released in December 2002.
The HDMI 1.1 specification was released in May 2004.

The HDMI 1.2 specification was released in August of 2005.

The HDMI 1.2a specification was released in December of 2005.




By lemonadesoda on 6/13/2006 6:14:38 PM , Rating: 1
I agree. The people running the HDMI specification forum should be fired.

I can understand 18month -24month updates to follow advanced in technology. But what we are getting is an update every 6 months or less. It's as though they are going, "Oh shoot, we forgot something again." OR "Oh bother, those consumers arent falling for this 1080i crap, we gotta uprate the service to 1080p".

I would say their behaviour is WORSE than the blu-ray and PS3 debacle. These were technology challenges. But the HDMI guys keep moving the goalposts.


By masher2 (blog) on 6/13/2006 6:25:53 PM , Rating: 3
As usual, you're reading too much into this. So a new standard is out? Its fully backwards compatible with the old one...and both new and old are fully capable of handling the resolutions and bit depths that current displays can.

So this is a "great tragedy" only for anal retentive types who feel their gear is somehow obsoleted by not supporting a standard it would gain nothing from anyway.


By lemonadesoda on 6/14/2006 7:17:08 PM , Rating: 3
I think you picked up the wrong-end-of-the-stick on the comment. The comment was less about HDMI than the
quote:
governance process
of standard and specifications management. The human element.

I think we are all pleased about an improved HDMI spec. The better, the better.

The issue is the lack of foresight in "the specifications". The fact that it is changing so frequently... addressing shortcomings or compromises in the previous 1.xx release.

Shortcomings and compromises should be dealt with asap. But from the perspective of investment of resources, people and priorities, and the literally thousands of people involved in the design and manufacture of related items, it really does help to have a more stable "roadmap". If you've ever had to manage large teams on hardware or software development projects, then you'll know what I mean. Even more so when you need to lead industry coordination.

Perhaps the constant updates is an inevitable consequence of immature technology. The sooner it matures, the better.


By masher2 (blog) on 6/15/2006 9:11:30 AM , Rating: 1
> "The issue is the lack of foresight in "the specifications". The fact that it is changing so frequently.."

If you regard the spec as simply "changing" due to shortcomings, then yes. In actuality, there was nothing wrong with HDMI 1.2 when it was released a year ago. It supported all bandwidths, resolutions, and color depths currently on the market and any on the near horizon.

Certainly, the HDMI group could have increased the 1.2 bandwidth higher still to "future proof" it. But you forget its a STANDARD. Doing so would have required any and all manufacturers to support that higher bandwidth...and in August 2005, that would have been extraordinarily expensive, and given no benefit whatsoever.



Da Blues in C#
By smilingcrow on 6/13/2006 6:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
With the Blu-ray launch turning into a fiasco, why not delay for an extended period so they can launch it with discs at 1080P with 36 bit colour (or whatever is needed). Then people won’t be left looking like fools when the Special Edition Blu-ray super-duper bit-shafted colour expanded discs get released in a couple of years.

Why did they call it Blu-ray? Because it was invented by a bloke called Ray who is slowly going blue in the face as he watches his invention being mangled.




RE: Da Blues in C#
By masher2 (blog) on 6/13/2006 7:50:59 PM , Rating: 3
> "why not delay for an extended period so they can launch it with discs at 1080P with 36 bit colour "

Because the difference between that and the current image quality is, for consumer video purposes, meaningless....and wholly nonexistent for the 99.99% of consumers that don't have a display capable of 36-bit color anyway.



RE: Da Blues in C#
By ChuckvB on 6/14/2006 3:34:34 PM , Rating: 2
Well on Toms Daily Tech today ecinema is announcing a LCD panel capable of using the deep color 36 bit range. http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=2860

As I'm holding off on a new HDMI switching receiver so I can have the new audio standards built in I'm glad they finally released the standard. Now the MFG's can start implementing it. The TV's are coming and so will the Recievers.


RE: Da Blues in C#
By masher2 (blog) on 6/14/2006 4:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
> "Well on Toms Daily Tech today ecinema is announcing a LCD panel capable of using the deep color 36 bit range"

Right-- it won't be available for several months still, and even then it'll be priced as a highly expensive reference monitor, not a consumer product. And it doesn't even have an HDMI port at all, much less an HDMI 1.3 compliant one.

So I think my point pretty much stands. It's going to be quite a while before a consumer monitor can even benefit from 1.3. Holding off a buying decision simply because this new standard is on the way is just plain silly.


Frustrating
By jebo on 6/13/2006 2:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
This is getting frustrating.
The thing I'm wondering is, are HDMI revisions backwards compatible? If I plug my HDMI version 1.3 HD-DVD player into my HDMI version <1.3 TV, what's going to happen?




Typo -
By Shftup on 6/13/2006 2:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The new HDMI 1.3 will also support Dolby HD and DTS-HD audio standards, which are an upgrade over the correct Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS standards.


Should be current - not correct.


RE: Frustrating
By jkresh on 6/13/2006 2:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
It should work, but so should plugging a DVI with hdcp device into an hdmi one (using a dvi-hdmi adaptor) and that doesn’t always so it may depend on the manufactures.


No word here about HDCP
By Scabies on 6/13/2006 2:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
What about HDCP, are we still going to have to tangle with that when the time comes?




RE: No word here about HDCP
By jkresh on 6/13/2006 2:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
As far as I know HDMI requires HDCP (ie you can have dvi which is not HDCP compliant but you cant have HDMI that is not hdcp compliant)


RE: No word here about HDCP
By bersl2 on 6/13/2006 3:12:21 PM , Rating: 2
HDCP is a trap -> HDMI is a trap


RE: No word here about HDCP
By pr0nbot on 6/13/06, Rating: -1
Correct Refresh Rates?
By vanka on 6/13/2006 3:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
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.

I would think that the quoted refresh rates would be reversed, doesn't 1080p have twice the information that 1080i has at the same refresh rate and color depth? Or am I missing something here?




RE: Correct Refresh Rates?
By threEchelon on 6/13/2006 3:23:56 PM , Rating: 2
You be right. Fo' sho'.


RE: Correct Refresh Rates?
By pr0nbot on 6/13/06, Rating: 0
RE: Correct Refresh Rates?
By matthewcaudle on 6/13/2006 6:56:26 PM , Rating: 1
srsly.


And after tat...
By clementlim on 6/13/2006 4:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
After HDMI 1.3...they will come up with 1.5...and after that 2.0 and so on and so forth. They are somehow trying to release small updates bit by bit. They probably have the whole range of technology already but are trying to make people buy newer products each time they come out with a new "update". Consumers aren't that stupid though.




RE: And after tat...
By Scabies on 6/13/2006 4:34:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
consumers arent that stupid though

Some are. Note to developers: Create HDMI hardware that is standard-upgradeable (as opposed to replacement-mandatory)


Old Skool
By brshoemak on 6/13/2006 5:26:26 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about you guys but I'm about to ditch my LCD and HDMI and switch back to my 25" tube TV with my red, white and yellow cables. I'll just hang out with composite until the FCC makes me go HD in 2009* (*expect delays into 2011 and beyond). At least I know they won't upgrade that standard until.........well, ever.




RE: Old Skool
By glennpratt on 6/19/2006 3:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
Easily the dumbest thing I've ever read. Now, if there's some other reason for ditching your LCD other then HDMI 1.3, then great, but you didn't mention that.


About time
By peternelson on 6/13/2006 5:00:26 PM , Rating: 2

Actually ITU 601 was launched as 8 bit but also supports 10 bits per colour channel. The highdef version should do 8, 10 or 12 bits per colour channel.

Lame implementations of DVI and HDMI should be shot for not living up to the existing standard but only doing 6 or 8.

They should never have been launched on the market like that.

NOW I want to insist on some way of marking inputs and outputs of equipment SAYING WHAT VERSION of HDMI they actually support from which it MIGHT be possible to guess bit depth supported.

This is a mess they should have supported at least 10 bits from day one.





Great news.
By urbanhunter on 6/13/2006 5:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
It is normal for standards to get upgraded and it is great news that HDMI is keeping up to the most innovative technologies. Now, it's up to manufacturers to implement the latest developments or not. PS3 wants to be the coolest kid on the block, but some HDTVs will be totally cool with 1.1.

All HDMI specs are backward compatible, so I don't worry about getting new equipment. However, I do accept that my 2004 TV won't be able to process 2006 technology. That's the cost of progress.




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