HDMI continues to pick up momentum over other standards

The HDMI consortium announced earlier this month that it has reduced the licensing fees for using HDMI in devices from $15,000 per year down to $10,000 per year. Representatives from the organization said that the price reduction is designed to encourage companies to develop products that use the HDMI interface.

The new price will go into effect starting November of this year. The growing popularity and adoption of HDMI was also a determining factor for the price reduction. According to Leslie Chard, president of HDMI Licensing LLC, "the reduction of the annual fee, which was already minimal, will make it easier for smaller manufacturers to license the HDMI specification and will help ensure that all companies, large or small, can implement cutting edge HDMI technology into their products."

The HDMI interface carries a DVI signal along with digital audio signals for a seamless one-cable interface. HDMI devices have actually been shipping to store shelves for several years now. The HDMI interface recently received an upgrade in specification -- up to version 1.3. Improvements include higher resolution support, bandwidth upgraded from 165MHz to 225MHz, and a feature called "deep color".

More PC products with HDMI are being announced as well. PowerColor announced that its X1600 PRO HDMI video card is now available. The card features true HDMI connectivity with support for HDCP. Sapphire also announced availability of its X1600Pro HDMI, but unlike the PowerColor card, the Sapphire card lacks a S/PDIF connect for audio output in case the user is using the DVI adapter.

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