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Specification supports 4K video and 32 channel audio

The HDMI Forum is a nonprofit association that manages the HDMI specification. Today the HDMI 2.0 specification has been officially unveiled and is available for partners to download right now. HDMI 2.0 promises significantly increased bandwidth allowing new features.

HDMI 2.0 supports bandwidth of up to 18 Gbps. That gives the specification the bandwidth to support 4K 50/60 resolution video -- that is four times the clarity of standard 1080p/60 video. HDMI 2.0 also supports 32 audio channels along with dynamic auto lip-see and extensions to CEC.

HDMI 2.0 is backwards compatible with earlier versions of HDMI, and perhaps the best news is that HDMI 2.0 doesn't require new plugs or new cables. Existing high-speed category two cables are already capable of carrying the increased bandwidth provided by HDMI 2.0.

The HDMI 2.0 specification is available for adopters to download via the HDMI Adopter Extranet. A press conference will be held to discuss the new features of HDMI 2.0 at IFA 2013 in Berlin this Friday.

Source: HDMI.org



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Stupid (?) question...
By boeush on 9/4/2013 4:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
HDMI 2.0 also supports 32 audio channels...
W? T? F???

Who, when, why, in the name of all that's holy and unholy combined, would ever need that many audio channels?




RE: Stupid (?) question...
By thorr2 on 9/4/2013 4:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
Check out Dolby Atmos. I saw Elysium that way and it is amazing!
http://www.dolby.com/us/en/professional/technology...


RE: Stupid (?) question...
By boeush on 9/4/2013 5:09:16 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah... But theaters aren't going to use HDMI for their audio systems in the first place. HDMI is for home theaters and otherwise consumer use.

Are you seriously suggesting that consumers will invest in complex 32-speaker systems for their living rooms, and that the number of such eccentrics significantly exceeds the number of fingers on one hand?


RE: Stupid (?) question...
By Guspaz on 9/4/2013 5:25:35 PM , Rating: 3
The previous version of the spec supported 8 audio channels, which current 7.1 home theatre systems max out. They wanted to bump it up to leave room for future use, what would YOU suggest that they set the limit to?

They had to pick something, so they likely picked a number of channels that they thought would be enough to last them into the distant future. The fact is that the 24 new audio channels require about 1.4% of the extra bandwidth capacity added by HDMI 2.0... not exactly causing a problem there.


RE: Stupid (?) question...
By boeush on 9/4/2013 5:17:20 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and also... The Dolby system boasts 64 speakers because you need that many to cover the perimeter of a huge movie theater hall. When you need to pan sound across a 100'-long wall, then yeah a linear array of a dozen speakers would work better than 2.

For home use, however, all you need is to cover a living room. Even very large living rooms (or home theater rooms) have less than 1/100th of the volume of a typical movie theater hall.

Even Dolby, in its most luxury-overkill, mode wouldn't need 32 friggin' speakers to provide a perfect sound-field and accurate sound positioning down to a degree of arc over even a McMansion-style home's available space...


RE: Stupid (?) question...
By kwrzesien on 9/4/2013 5:48:48 PM , Rating: 2
If only I knew this was coming I would have made my McMansion media room bigger!


RE: Stupid (?) question...
By Devilboy1313 on 9/4/2013 9:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
Just buy your neighbor's McMansion, hollow it out and turn it into a giant media room.

You many need more than 64 speakers then, but you could split the house into 2 media rooms. A his and her set-up.


RE: Stupid (?) question...
By EricMartello on 9/4/2013 5:44:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
W? T? F???

Who, when, why, in the name of all that's holy and unholy combined, would ever need that many audio channels?


For home use, I would envision speaker arrays that are placed around your listening area, which would allow for precise sound stage reproduction regardless of whether you are in a large or small room.

In other words, using arrays of smaller speakers rather than 3 large ones would allow movies and games to sound "bigger" than the physical room actually is.

Let's say you have 2 channels for bass (LFE), one in front of you and another behind you.

That gives you 30 channels to work with for front, mid and surround. You could have a speaker array that places speakers every 12 degrees around your listening position, effectively giving you true 360 degree coverage.

A properly mastered soundtrack would sound incredible.


RE: Stupid (?) question...
By boeush on 9/4/2013 7:34:12 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, except:

1) How much more would it cost?

2) Who has the room or the aesthetic taste for all those speaker boxes all over the place?

3) How can all of that be wired and powered without turning one's home into Spiderman's layer (and how much would THAT cost)?

4) How much positional fidelity does the human ear really provide: can it discriminate positional sound to +/- 10 degrees? 5? 1? At what point do diminishing returns make for not just overkill, but nonsensical overkill? A related question might be, how does this ultimate limit of human auditory positional perception fidelity degrade when sound is not your entire focus of attention (e.g. when you're preoccupied with other visual/emotional/cognitive stimuli at the same time, and likely to a much greater extent)?

5) What's the perceptual gain from a 14-speaker system vs. a 7-speaker system? What's the gain from a 21-speaker system vs. a 14-speaker system? If 7.1 sound is already pretty much "good enough", and then further if 14.2 sound would be astonishingly-awesome by comparison, then what would be the point of 30.2 sound???

6) An intelligently built sound system can recreate a very complex sound field with very few speakers, simply by playing around with how the various speakers are timed relative to each other, and thus how their soundwaves interfere in space. Surround sound can be simulated with a stereo speaker system. What could be simulated with a 7-speaker system? (And is there even any need?)


RE: Stupid (?) question...
By EricMartello on 9/4/2013 11:43:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1) How much more would it cost?


Initial models will be expensive. If and when it catches on with consumers, you'll have price/quality tiers as you do with most electronics. Eventually you could probably get a decent speaker system for under $1,000.

quote:
2) Who has the room or the aesthetic taste for all those speaker boxes all over the place?


People who really like immersive home entertainment? Keep in mind that these speakers do not necessarily need to be huge. For small to medium size rooms, you could get by with "cube" speakers that are 4-5" cubes. Larger rooms would benefit from larger speakers.

They could also introduce "arrays" which are basically like "sound bars" except that you place the sound bars around your seating area rather than just in front.

quote:
4) How much positional fidelity does the human ear really provide: can it discriminate positional sound to +/- 10 degrees? 5? 1? At what point do diminishing returns make for not just overkill, but nonsensical overkill? A related question might be, how does this ultimate limit of human auditory positional perception fidelity degrade when sound is not your entire focus of attention (e.g. when you're preoccupied with other visual/emotional/cognitive stimuli at the same time, and likely to a much greater extent)?


Human senses tend to get underrated when we're talking about entertainment stuff. For instance, a lot of people claim that the eye cannot discern detail finer than 1080p on a 50 inch screen - not true, our eyes can see a lot more detail than 1080p offers. The same is true for our ears, although some people are less sensitive to certain sound frequency ranges than others...overall we have pretty good hearing.

The idea with 32 channels is to create the illusion of a bigger space by using many speakers with independently controlled channels. It would work similar to the way "two speaker surround" works, which is by isolating groups of frequencies and adding very brief delays between them to create a "wider" sound stage with a broader "sweet spot".

With 32 independent audio channels, you'd have a larger sweet spot for sound effects than you do with 5.1 or 7.1 systems. What does this mean for you? Basically, it would be possible to create the illusion of sound emanating from anywhere within your room, or even somewhere far beyond your room. I'm not talking like "maybe sorta kinda" that you get with 5.1, I'm talking like "oh snap my coffee table sounds like a truck but I can hear the guy talking as if he is right next to me and yelling into my ear" type of potential.

quote:
5) What's the perceptual gain from a 14-speaker system vs. a 7-speaker system? What's the gain from a 21-speaker system vs. a 14-speaker system? If 7.1 sound is already pretty much "good enough", and then further if 14.2 sound would be astonishingly-awesome by comparison, then what would be the point of 30.2 sound???


The more independently controlled speakers you have, the greater the potential for replicating positional effects with accuracy and believability. Not only for single effects, for multiple simultaneous effects.

A 14-channel speaker system would sound nice but I think they'd opt for a figure that goes into 360 evenly so that the speakers could be evenly placed around the listening area. It wouldn't be a "hard" requirement because the A/V receiver would likely have a calibration routine to ensure that the the appropriate delays are added based on actual speaker positions within the room.

quote:
6) An intelligently built sound system can recreate a very complex sound field with very few speakers, simply by playing around with how the various speakers are timed relative to each other, and thus how their soundwaves interfere in space. Surround sound can be simulated with a stereo speaker system. What could be simulated with a 7-speaker system? (And is there even any need?)


Two-speaker surround requires that your head is almost perfectly triangulated with the speakers to get the "surround" effect, and even then it's not as convincing as having dedicated speakers in various locations throughout the room. This effect is created by the sound processor according to whatever algorithm they use.

As I said above, imagine how awesome it would be to have that same "virtual surround" tech applied to a large array of speakers. Everyone in the room could sit comfortably and enjoy those 3D sound effects, as opposed to having to sit in the sweet spot. The more speakers you have, the greater your "audio resolution" meaning that you'd have more uniquely discernible sounds playing simultaneously and convincingly from various locations throughout your room.


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