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One more standard for everyone

Not to the surprise of DailyTech readers, the HDMI Founder companies announced the 1.3 revision of HDMI last weekDailyTech earlier ran a story about the new standard, which includes support for "Deep Color."  For the most part, the new standard is just an increase of the single-link bandwidth from 165MHz to 340MHz -- giving the protocol approximately 10.2Gbps of bandwidth.

The HDMI Founders were quick to grab a sound bite from Ken Kutaragi, president and group CEO of SCE, who claims "By introducing the next-generation HDMI 1.3 technology, with its high speed and deep color capabilities, PS3 will push the boundaries of audiovisual quality to the next level of more natural and smoother expression on the latest large flat panel displays."

HDMI 1.3 is backwards compatible with existing HDMI devices. The HDMI founders list the new additions to the standard as follows:
  • Higher speed: HDMI 1.3 increases its single-link bandwidth from 165MHz (4.95 gigabits per second) to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbps) to support the demands of future high definition display devices, such as higher resolutions, Deep Color and high frame rates. In addition, built into the HDMI 1.3 specification is the technical foundation that will let future versions of HDMI reach significantly higher speeds.
  • Deep color: HDMI 1.3 supports 30-bit, 36-bit and 48-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depths, up from the 24-bit depths in previous versions of the HDMI specification.
    • Lets HDTVs and other displays go from millions of colors to billions of colors
    • Eliminates on-screen color banding, for smooth tonal transitions and subtle gradations between colors
    • Enables increased contrast ratio
    • Can represent many times more shades of gray between black and white. At 30-bit pixel depth, four times more shades of gray would be the minimum, and the typical improvement would be eight times or more
  • Broader color space: HDMI 1.3 removes virtually all limits on color selection.
    • Next-generation "xvYCC" color space supports 1.8 times as many colors as existing HDTV signals
    • Lets HDTVs display colors more accurately
    • Enables displays with more natural and vivid colors
  • New mini connector: With small portable devices such as HD camcorders and still cameras demanding seamless connectivity to HDTVs, HDMI 1.3 offers a new, smaller form factor connector option.
  • Lip Sync: Because consumer electronics devices are using increasingly complex digital signal processing to enhance the clarity and detail of the content, synchronization of video and audio in user devices has become a greater challenge and could potentially require complex end-user adjustments. HDMI 1.3 incorporates an automatic audio/video synching capability that allows devices to perform this synchronization automatically with accuracy.
  • New lossless audio formats: In addition to HDMI’s current ability to support high-bandwidth uncompressed digital audio and currently-available compressed formats (such as Dolby Digital and DTS), HDMI 1.3 adds additional support for new, lossless compressed digital audio formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Unfortunately, all is not beer and Skittles for the HDMI Founders.  Silicon Image, an HDMI Founder, is an integral cornerstone in the UDI protocol; a competing HD point-to-point transfer protocol. Yet, even UDI does not have much support with the hardware manufacturers, as PC companies have introduced a third HD protocol, called DisplayPort, to replace DVI and offset UDI and HDMI.

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But is real HD now possible?
By Staples on 6/26/2006 2:53:03 PM , Rating: 1
So is 1980x1080px24bit at 60fps now possible?

Who cares about more colors (which probably get wiped out in compression anyway) when we can't even do 1080p at 60fps yet.

RE: But is real HD now possible?
By masher2 on 6/26/2006 3:22:59 PM , Rating: 3
> "Who cares about more colors (which probably get wiped out in compression anyway) when we can't even do 1080p at 60fps yet. "

Because people can actually see the additional dynamic range, whereas higher frame rates provide almost no additional image quality.

We need paletted textures!
By Slaimus on 6/26/2006 3:39:35 PM , Rating: 2
1920x1080 is only 2,073,600 pixels. We only need 24-bit paletted textures of a 48-bit palette to have far more colors than pixels. This would be a dramatic saving in bandwith. Most consecutive frames use the same range of colors, so there would not be many palette changes relative to the number of frames.

RE: We need paletted textures!
By TheDoc9 on 6/26/2006 3:58:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I'm curious to see what compression and new disc format will use this extra color depth and how that will impact space usage on the discs.

RE: We need paletted textures!
By rykerabel on 6/26/2006 4:22:52 PM , Rating: 2
greater than 24 bit color at 1080p is the most of the reason for Blue Ray dual layer discs having 50 GB space compared to HD-DVD dual layers max of 30 GB.

(extremely interactive content is the other reason)

By kilkennycat on 6/26/2006 5:18:49 PM , Rating: 3
"see the additional dynamic range"

........ on exactly what display device?
Maybe on a CRT with appropriate gamma correction. Can't think of any other. The true color depth and linearity of both LCD and plasma is nicely masked by marketing BS and incomplete specs. As I learned years ago from semiconductor technology specialist "what is omitted from a technical spec is frequently more important than what is included".

RE: But is real HD now possible?
By PrinceGaz on 6/27/2006 12:44:33 AM , Rating: 2
Tell me, how many HDTVs can you buy today actually have a display which supports and outputs anything over 24-bit colour?

This is totally different from HDR rendering in PC games which was about providing a high dynamic-range in rendered scenes. The displays those games used were still at best 24-bit, and in many cases only 15-bit panels with interpolation, yet they still looked fine.

The human eye cannot really differentiate more than 256 brightness levels (8-bit per colour) except when viewing a static test-image designed to emphasise the brightness steps, and even then the steps are almost undetectable. With any sort of motion picture, more than 24bpp is a waste unless it costs nothing extra to do.

RE: But is real HD now possible?
By Staples on 6/27/2006 2:02:04 AM , Rating: 2
I was talking in terms of video games. 60fps is necessary for smooth game play. More so than anything over 24bit color. Movies are 24fps so the extra bandwidth could be better used for 30bit color.

RE: But is real HD now possible?
By Shoal07 on 6/27/2006 10:31:15 AM , Rating: 2
I know most of you are not AV types, but do you realize there is no 1080p 60fps ATSC standard? It does not exsist. The highest standardized resolution is 1080p at either 24 or 30fps, that's it. Anything 1080p is 1080p at 30 (or 24) fps.

Lets stick with HDMI
By Aesir on 6/26/2006 7:08:36 PM , Rating: 2
OK, so HDMI has proven its an advanced, and easily scalable and upgradable solution that provides all the necessary tech and can be upgraded to handle any new tech that may come around. It plays the MPAA's silly HDCP game. Its backwards compatible. Its small, convenient, and not too expensive. So why the heck do we need UDI or DisplayPort?! Can't we just stick with HDMI for, like, a decade or something? I'm sure HDMI 1.6 or whatever will have just as many features as its competitors. I say stick with one format that is, above all, backwards compatible, and just keep revising it.

RE: Lets stick with HDMI
By TomZ on 6/26/2006 7:50:59 PM , Rating: 2
Competing standards are not such a bad thing. Just like competing companies, the desire to win spurs innovation, creativity, and execution.

But to answer your question, those other standards exist because they are backed by other large companies and different segments of the industry. You can't expect everyone to agree on something, do you?

RE: Lets stick with HDMI
By Scrogneugneu on 6/26/2006 8:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
Competing standards can't even exist. If two standards are competing, then none of them are really a standard, as a standard is made to be universal.

There should be worldwide laws to direct standards. It sucks when you have to choose and have a 50% chance of being stuck with a dead technology in the next 2 years.

RE: Lets stick with HDMI
By kkwst2 on 6/26/2006 11:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
Uhh, you've got to be kidding. You want the government to control something else? And what government body would decide that?

If you want cutting edge stuff, then you should have enough money to not worry too much about becoming obselete. Otherwise, wait a couple years like the rest of us and let the market hammer it out. Don't ask government officials or lawyers to figure it out for us. That would just add cost and years of delay to products.

While the process isn't perfect, it's not that bad.

RE: Lets stick with HDMI
By Aesir on 6/27/2006 1:06:50 AM , Rating: 2
He didn't say anything about "the" government (and I'm not sure what government that would be, exactly, either). The problem is, at this rate, no standard will ever be "hammered out" because the damn things keep changing every couple years. The closest thing to a true standard we have for digital video is VGA. Wonderful.

I say ISO should get their rear in gear and pick one. Whether they're allowed to do that or not I'm not sure, but it'd help things out a lot.

RE: Lets stick with HDMI
By CSMR on 6/27/2006 1:55:46 AM , Rating: 2
The issues are quite simple. Costs of enforcing standards would be minimal in comparison to costs arising from lack of standards. It requires supporting a few administrators and lawyers in contrast to making life difficult and expensive for consumers from incompatible standards and duplication of expenses.

RE: Lets stick with HDMI
By shadowzz on 6/27/2006 3:38:50 AM , Rating: 3
Can't we just stick with HDMI for, like, a decade or something?

One word: Royalties.

If you're not getting paid by others for HDMI, you're paying through the nose to use it. This does not appeal to many.

RE: Lets stick with HDMI
By Aesir on 6/27/2006 6:54:38 AM , Rating: 2
True, but "we" (the end user) are going to be paying for royalties no matter which format prevails. I know rival manufacturers want a piece of that action, but I wish they would realize that HDMI has won and they're a minute late and a dollar short.

By lwright84 on 6/26/2006 1:57:35 PM , Rating: 3
can anything stop the PS3? it keeps getting better and better and they're still offering it at such a good [low] price.

RE: damn
By PT2006 on 6/26/2006 1:58:15 PM , Rating: 1

RE: damn
By lwright84 on 6/26/2006 2:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
i find it pretty funny too.. especially when people are still complaining about it being overpriced.

RE: damn
By Vertigo101 on 6/26/06, Rating: 0
RE: damn
By lwright84 on 6/26/2006 8:12:54 PM , Rating: 1
neither, i just know what i'm talking about.

RE: damn
By Vertigo101 on 6/30/2006 9:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
No, you don't know what you're talking about. Next, you'll be telling us that the PS2 had a great design.

RE: damn
By lwright84 on 7/1/2006 12:39:59 AM , Rating: 1
absolutely incorrect, but thanks anyway.

RE: damn
By clementlim on 6/26/06, Rating: 0
RE: damn
By PrinceGaz on 6/27/2006 12:30:21 AM , Rating: 2
lol, I love the irony of some people who post here

RE: damn
By tuteja1986 on 6/27/2006 9:05:52 AM , Rating: 2
People that are saying PS3 is too cheap are just being fooled :!

Only in America and Canada you will get the PS3 60GB Model for arround $600USD retail but every where eles , the price is too high (720USD+) and in japan its worst since its a open price making the ps3 60GB launch price arround $1000USD++.

I also bet most of you don't even know what is happened with the latest PS3 plans..
No more 3.2GHz Cell processor .. its now 2.8Ghz
GPU clock speed has been reduced
GPU ram clock speed has been reduced
GPU pipeline has been reduced
External 400PSU (even bigger than xbox 360 power brick)
core logic bridge is out but now intergated into RSX
No more Rumble because of court case

Things are getting taken out or getting dumbed down because the Blu-ray is killing it.

PS3 is Too Cheap!
By Araxen on 6/26/2006 1:59:44 PM , Rating: 4
I think they are selling the PS3 too cheap now. They should raise the price by $500 or so.

RE: PS3 is Too Cheap!
By Tsuwamono on 6/26/2006 2:38:06 PM , Rating: 1
*cough* i think you are all insane... PS3 is way too expensive. Ill stick with my PC. and if i decide to go console i would go with Xbox 360 dispite my huge distaste for microsoft.

RE: PS3 is Too Cheap!
By clementlim on 6/26/2006 2:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
Can you spell S-A-R-C-A-S-M???

RE: PS3 is Too Cheap!
By czarchazm on 6/26/2006 5:33:58 PM , Rating: 2

By Homerboy on 6/26/2006 2:26:44 PM , Rating: 4
Unfortunately, all is not beer and Skittles


RE: Mmmmmmmmmmmm......
By mezman on 6/27/2006 2:45:24 PM , Rating: 2

Such a product does not exist sir, I think you must have dreamed it.

another excuse
By MDme on 6/26/2006 4:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
another excuse to:

1) charge more for their product (PS3)
2) delay the product

btw, try watching that on the PS3 without the HDMI output. :)

RE: another excuse
By lwright84 on 6/26/2006 8:15:48 PM , Rating: 2
what a joke.. sony already has plenty of reason to charge much more for the PS3, but they're not. they are still keeping it at a very reasonable price.

RE: another excuse
By PrinceGaz on 6/27/2006 1:10:44 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. $500-600 is far too cheap for a PS3 game console that can also play BD movies. It should be at least $1000 as you are getting both a next-gen game-console and also a HD movie player in one box.


You are getting a game-console that is of similar hardware spec to the XB360 (I'm not going to argue over details, especially when the advantages of the PS3's Core are anything but when it comes to games), which also happens to be capable of playing DVD and BD movies.

The ability to play BD movies is worthless to anyone who really cares about HDTV movies because they'll want a proper BD/HD-DVD player which includes all the functionality and outputs they need, not some game-console where BD movie support is a bonus feature.

Your average guy in the street who can afford it isn't going to buy into the PS3 just to watch movies even if they have an HDTV, they'll go for an already similarly priced HD-DVD player instead because they know it will do a much better job of playing movies than a game-console with a remote. By the time the PS3 comes out, HD-DVD players are likely to be undercutting it by $100 or more and also providing superior functionality (except for the game-console bit, which they don't care about).

Sony has really shot itself in the foot with the PS3. Whichever way you look at it, it seems like a bad deal. I know I'd much rather have an XB360 and a proper HD-DVD player come the end of the year, rather than a PS3, especially because the XB360 plus HD-DVD player together is only likely to cost about $100-200 more than a PS3 by then. Or better still get a Wii plus an HD-DVD player which will probably work out cheaper than a PS3, play movies better, and provide a better and more entertaining variety of innovative games.

yet another interface
By ForumMaster on 6/26/2006 2:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
this will probablly take some time until it is adopted. the greater bandwidth helps for the future too. 10.2GBps? damn. that faster then my mobo.

RE: yet another interface
By PT2006 on 6/26/2006 2:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
Uncompressed signal data takes a ridiculous amount of bandwidth.

Note to Consumers
By hoppa on 6/26/2006 4:30:42 PM , Rating: 3
Note to Consumers:
With any TV priced under $5000, this enhanced protocol will not be viable. With a TV priced over $5000 that meets our strict criteria, 90% of users still won't be able to tell the difference.

Thank you.
Sony Management Team

By MonkeyPaw on 6/26/2006 4:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
Will this move help PS3 as a console, as a Movie player, or both?

PS3 Blue-ray
By SaintSinner1 on 6/26/06, Rating: -1
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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